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“I’ve got blisters on my fingers!” – Ringo Starr, after the 18th take of Helter Skelter
One of the most useful composition lessons I ever received was also perhaps the most banal. If you’re writing with notes, you really only have two basic decisions to make: firstly, is the next note higher, lower, or the same pitch? And secondly, is the next note longer, shorter, or the same length?
These three short studies explore some types of linear motion: expansion, contraction, oscillation, acceleration, deceleration, stasis. Studies are by nature repetitive, obsessive even, and these are no exception.
Commissioned by the Adam Chamber Music Festival
I. Baby Steps
II. Slow Breathing
III. Pushing Shit Uphill