Archive for May 3rd, 2009

"Decisions, Decisions" composed by me!

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

  
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Decisions, Decisions (pizzicato).aif (23178 KB)

An old girlfriend of mine used to perform Poulenc’s “Trois Mouvements Perpetuels” on the piano and I wrote this to see if I could mimic its style. It’s one of my first compositions, dating from around 1992/93 (I’m self-taught so forgive me!) Originally it was intended to be performed by a wind quartet and sound like it had come straight out of a French art house movie. The version here is for pizzicato strings.
 
The title, “Decisions, Decisions” comes from a long email exchange I had with a student about five or six years ago.
She kept changing her mind about her dissertation topic and kept coming back to the same idea, which is really how this piece works. Up until then it had the title “Happy Dance” which I’d always meant to translate into French or something to make it sound a bit more pretentious (“Danse Heureuse” I suppose).
 
Incidentally, Poulenc is a strange composer – his music is very rhythmic and uses odd intervals, timings and discords, but it’s often very exciting and beautiful. Listen to the Domine Deus from his “Gloria” for example:

 
The whole piece is worth a listen if you can get hold of a good recording. I took part in a performance of that piece at York University conducted by the composer John Rutter. Blimey, he was a bad tempered guy that day… Went right off him.