This is going to be more free flowing than the others. Just putting my thoughts out there.
Now, you might be asking, why is this nut writing a string quartet? These were not popular since the 1800s. Furthermore, why does he insist on the Christian imagery of Advent and Christmas?
Well, the first question kind of gets to the center of my musical philosophy. It is basically this: I make music regardless of the listener's preference. I am expressing myself and I am creating music that reflects a certain mood, sonority, or inspiration. I am making an artistic statement, not trying to necessarily gain fans. I am in a position that I can do that rather well; I don't depend on my musical craft (yet) to pay bills and I can create what I feel is right. So if you like it, great! If you don't, well that is OK too.
A second reason why a string quartet is that it is smaller than an orchestra. I can try different techniques, chord progressions, and counterpoint with a string quartet easier than with an orchestra. I only have four string instruments rather than who-knows-how-many-parts in an orchestral score. So, it is, in a way, practice for writing music. I can come up with ideas to try and write the four parts rather quickly and see how it works. If it sounds good, great. If not, it would not be too much to go and edit the four parts.
Third reason on why a string quartet: I always wanted to write a string quartet. It is so out-dated that it sounds exotic!
Just makes for a great conversation starter. Also, this is a new medium for me; the newness of writing for the string quartet gives me options I never had before writing for other ensembles. I think that stepping out of one's comfort zone can have some surprisingly fantastic results. But also really bad ones. It is a risk, but you never know if you don't try, right?
And why is it about Advent and Christmas? As I have mentioned before, I am Christian (Catholic) and very devout in my faith. If left to my own devices, this is where my inspiration comes from. Now, I don't think that what I write has to have a profound Christian meaning, but when I write for myself, I can't work off of any other inspiration other than my faith. I have tried love songs, songs of anguish...the actual musical result never compares when I write my own music.
When writing for others, it is different. They or their project is the inspiration; I don't have to supply my own inspiration to write. Recently I finished writing a musical score for a friend of mine's Star Wars tabletop campaigns. I will be working with my brother on another game music score. So, my faith is not my only musical inspiration, but it is my personal inspiration.
There are probably more reasons that I am doing this (such as showing you all what I can do, and writing Advent rather than Christmas music), but those will be for another post.
I hope to have the third movement up within the next couple of days. The theme: Joy. Have a great day!
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This is the news blog of Phrygian Phish. Check out here for news on Phrygian Phish projects like Last Rites, Beyond the Dice, and other Sean Bailey projects.