One thing leads to another…

Today has been one of those bitty days when I can’t quite settle to anything. A twitter chum of mine had a comedy exchange with a twitter chum of his, which resulted in this:

While dead in sin and error’s way,
My soul was troubled greatly.
My grief o’ertook me night and day,
Pain was all I did see.
The light of the Gospel grace did shine,
My darkened soul arose.
Made anew,
Baptized, too,
By water and the Spirit now a-living.

(by Revd Alex Klages)

I like odd metres. I like Lutheran chorales. So instead of tidying up I seem to have written a melody… here it is, played by a robot guitar:

Harmonisation to follow, and if I get appropriate permission I’ll put it on CPDL.

It has caused me to reflect slightly on my composing process. When I wrote Sweet Spirit Comfort Me I sat down and wrote pretty much the whole thing without touching a keyboard, then put it into Sibelius and cleaned it up a bit (not much). That’s my usual style when I compose for a capella SATB. But writing this tune (as yet unnamed*) my instinct was to secure the melody line and then sit at the piano to work out the other bits. I realise I used the same method for When you made this planet. It just feels a little odd, because in all my years studying keyboard harmony I rarely actually played my harmonisations on any sort of keyboard instrument — usually because I was finishing them in the aural skills class before they were due — I just relied on my ability to hear all the notes at once, as I do with a capella writing. Piano compositions (none online), on the other hand, were always done by noodling around at the piano and then writing down the results.

How odd. I’m pretty sure this is something to do with playing at least five hymns per week for the last couple of years: hymns are now as much something that I play as something that I sing.

*all serious and some tongue-in-cheek suggestions considered.

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4 Comments

  1. Chris Upton

     /  May 24, 2012

    If I were naming it I’d want to reflect the words, probably, in this case, by faking the first line of a notional German original! With help from Google Translate, and bearing in mind that I last studied German at GCSE in 1995: “In Sünden und in Fehler tot.”

    Reply
  2. Nice tune! Has a sort of non-conformity character! (very appropriate considering the starting point)
    Was years before I could “hear” the score in my head; teaching Grade 5 theory and Grade 6+ piano did the trick. Still can’t wrap my ears around a full score. Not enough practise/experience/necessity.

    Reply
  3. Rev. Alex Klages

     /  May 24, 2012

    That’s just too amusing. I’ll have to write the other 14 verses now. 😉

    Reply
  1. Nothing works the frist time. « The Artsy Honker

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