Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A Bigger Picture

So, this week I went with my Mum to see David Hockney’s A Bigger Picture Exhibition. Although I was really looking forward to it I was worried about having a day away from composing, particularly as the day before I’d had to force myself to stay at my desk. For some reason some days I just really can’t be bothered to compose. Anyway, so I got a bit done but it felt like running through mud.

You can see details of the exhibition here.

But, the day off at the Royal Academy of the Arts did me the power of good, and I got a really good idea whilst in the exhibition! I think it’s something to do with the fact that when you’re in the middle of writing, everything seems pertinent or relevant. But as it happens many of the pictures in Hockney’s exhibition are of the area that Amy would have flown over (he lives in Bridlington now the majority of the exhibition was made up of painting of the lanscape in the surrounding area). One of the pictures (I wish I could remember the name) was almost like an aerial view of the local landscape - probably from the viewpoint of higher ground but it could have easily been the view from a low flying plane. This painted view of the fields from above, in vibrant colours gave me an idea for the harmonic structure of the last section of the opera, which could be said to be a hymn to the glory of flying.

So, anyway, I’m thrilled about this, as I’m just about to begin this section, and feel newly inspired.

You can see details of the exhibition here.

It got me thinking about perspective too - in the opera are we looking up at Amy and Jim flying, are we in the plane with looking down at the lanscape, or are we viewing them from the air (as if in a separate plane)? Well, I realised when looking back at the music I’ve written that it’s all three (at different times). I don’t know that’s that’s particularly pertinent, but it just struck me the other day...I suppose however that some of these things only occur to you after you’ve composed certain bits - and it’s amazing how structurally things seem to fit into place, sometimes unconsciously. I’ve been surprised how well some of my themes fit together - when, in for instance a coda, the text harks back to previous material and I’ve tried to bring back the melodies associated with that material too. It’s nice to have surprises like that.

More anon. I have to make myself start this section. So far today I have done every piece of admin possible, in order to delay starting...

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