Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Bogan songs

These are my first published songs, and were the first vocal music I had written in 10 years. 1989, when these were written, is a very long time ago, but it didn't seem that way at the time.

Judy Bettina was my colleague during my year at Stanford, and we hit it off. So she asked for songs, and this is what happened. The third song, To Be Sung on the Water, took a very, very long time to write because I kept chucking stuff — and thanks, of course, to Ross Bauer, for whom I played an early draft of that song, and his reaction was lukewarm. "Not up to your usual standards" is how I remember it being phrased. See, that's what a good composition teacher does. Ross was not my composition teacher.

And it turns out the song is pretty. Plus it has one fractional time signature.

Cassandra was originally written as an unaccompanied song, and I heard Judy do it that way swimmingly soon after I wrote it. The lush textures of the other two, though, convinced me I should add a piano part to it. Which I did, while keeping the vocal line exactly the same. And adding more wedges to the counterpoint at the end.

Late might have been loosely aggregate-based, I don't recall exactly. Marty Boykan liked it, and assigned it as a generals piece in about 1991. So three papers have been written on it. One of them speculated that I like pop music.