by Vince Corozine (ASCAP)
I’m Vince Corozine. Welcome to Gioia Production Studios in New York. This is number one in a series of six outlines and videos.
WAYS OF COMPOSING
1. Compose at the piano…to score paper…copy parts
2. Away from the keyboard
3. Using SIBELIUS or FINALE music software
My first thought was to assess the technical level of the players. So I contacted Max Colley, Jr. and we discussed instrument ranges, soloists, style and level of difficulty for the piece. I suggested a jazz waltz and will call it: SUPERNOVA.
My first impression was a rhythmic ostinato pedal-point that would anchor the sound…as the lines soared above like a mobile floating in space. I felt that the piece should have rhythmic intensity with lots of contrapuntal lines weaving in and out. I also envision the overlapping of phrases…smooth joins and build the piece to a climax near the end.
I also felt that a 6-minute piece should have at least one modulation to provide and extra lift and interest.
The first rhythm that came to mind was the ostinato pedal-point built up in fourths….let’s listen to it as played by a rhythm section.
The next thing that I feel is needed is a contrasting rhythmic theme that floats above the rhythmic ostinato, and pushes the feel of three in a syncopated way.
After working with this second theme, I felt that it would be a good one to use for interludes in between the soloists and for purposes of imitation throughout the piece.
Now that I had an ostinato and a contrasting theme, I next set out PRE-COMPOSITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS such as:
A painter decides what size canvass to use before applying paint to it.
A poet decided in advance the form of the poem, its rhyme scheme, if any, and the structure of the lines.
A composer determines in advance the probable length (6 minutes), the performance medium (jazz ensemble), the tempo (slow introduction leading to the jazz waltz at around quarter note equals 188 beats per minute, and the expressive elements (modulations, imitation, overlapping phrases) and so forth.
Diatonic, chromatic, polyphonic, homophonic, or a combination of each. I hear an aggressive rhythmic ostinato under-pinning with contrapuntal lines floating above, with lots of syncopated rhythms.
LEVEL OF DISSONANCE
Use of 21st century clusters, dissonances in the inner parts, with lots of contrapuntal lines weaving in and out.
A solid rhythmic ostinato underpinning, contrasting theme for interludes, and a main theme that is fairly placid and measured. The main theme will contrast with the other themes both rhythmically and in intensity.
A large work is in no hurry to move on, the themes are prolonged through imitation, with extended pedal points, and the work should end when the various tensions are resolved. The themes should be developed.
RANGE AND TECHNICAL LEVEL
Max and I agreed that it should be written at the grade 4-5 level.
An introduction that begins slowly, with the addition of instruments (terraced dynamics) over a suspended chord leading to the fast waltz section.
Here is the theme as originally conceived for unison trombones with rhythm section in the key of A minor.
After listening to the theme…I feel that it is too predictable, too symmetrical and in the next video I will show how I approach the revision of a simple theme to make it more musical, less symmetrical, and more interesting.