9 March, 2008

Well, it only took something like three years, but I've finally finished that stupid piano sonatina cycle. It was only intended to be a refresher exercise finished absolutely as quickly as possible. As little thought as possible was supposed to go into the pieces. It wasn't about being good. It was about being done. But, like all projects, one thing happens after another, and the next thing you know is three years have passed. Okay, it may have just been two and a half years, but I think it's been three. And, I'm not about to try digging up when I actually started and then doing the math. If I did, I might realize that it has been closer to four years, and nobody needs to go there.

So, the Sonatina in B-Flat Major is done, and I really don't know what to think of it. Can't decide if I like it. For one thing, it is much too long. That scared the shit out of me while I was working on it since I don't happen to feel that a sonatina should be twenty minutes. Turns out there is precedent for it but that is beside the point. At least, I don't have to worry about people pointing and laughing. Well, they might still. It's not as if the sonatina is any great work of art. Fortunately there, I wasn't exactly making any great effort to create a work of art. It was just supposed to be a fun little piece of shit sonatina.

I actually do like the first movement quite a bit. The second movement, I don't know. I've got mixed feelings. There is just way too much oom-pah-pah for my taste, but I simply could not figure out how to get ride of it. Oh, well.

Of the five sonatinas, my favorite is definitely the Sonatina in C minor, and I'm especially happy with the fuguette in the third movement. I was going to do another fuguette in the B-Flat Major Sonatina, but that bastard was getting so out of hand as it was that I didn't want to get into it.

It was also taking way too long. It didn't help that everything I did in December had to be thrown out. Yeah, that was thrilling. I had gotten this stupid idea into my head that the third movement should start with a slow introduction. Spent most of December working on that. Then, I start in on the third movement proper and realize just what a damn fool idea the slow intro was. It didn't work leading into the quick step. Very jarring. And, then I came to my senses about how long this monstrosity already was. A slow introduction? What? Fifteen to twenty minutes isn't long enough? So, out it went. Then, January, work was very crazy. Nothing got done on the sonatina then.

But, at last, the project is done. Now, on to something a little less tonal and right into a brick wall. It has just amazed me the amount of second guessing I've subjected myself to in the past couple of days. I've got my fingers crossed I've passed it, but we shall see.

It all has to do with expectations. I mean, I sit down. I start piddling around with an idea, and the thought that people will just scoff at it as being derivative of Bartok or something just goes screaming around my head. I mean, mother-fucker! What is up with that? It can hardly be said that I am overly concerned with what people thought of my work. If I was, I certainly would have never started the sonatina project. People going on about it being regressive or whatnot. What should I care? So, what's with worrying about a more interesting piece being regressive?

Again, it's not exactly as if I'm expecting this first one to be any great work of art. Again, the point is for it to be done. Have fun. And, be done. That's about it for expectations. So, I don't know where these thoughts come from.

Fortunately, I am impressively happy with how the first dozen or so measures have worked out. I feel I'm stumbling around a little bit but that is okay. I think a lot of that has to do with how much my piano skills have faded, and I can't just plunk it out good at the piano. A lot of doubt about how it really sounds goes there. So, progress is slow. Very slow. A dozen measures, as I said. Then, again, I try to tell myself it has only been a week.

So, there we are.

And, one of these days I will get back into writing more interesting journal entries. For now, this is as good as it gets.

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