I like to introduce myself with poems. And a cape. But nobody can see my cape here so just forget I said anything.
It is not malice, that the Gods should reward our prayers with mere images-
for they must draw shadow hearts aloft, hearts that must die,
hearts that stir in images only, hearts for which no vision at last fulfilled might prove inspiring,
and want to glimmer only around the edges of things.
It is not malice, that the gods please our hearts and not our souls,
unless one speaks to the gods from their soul,
and most souls do not pray, and hardly speak at all
for the heart bears no malice.
If one is to bear malice against the Gods and their cold silence toward our prayers, do so with the soul and bless them with the heart, and if that malice were to speak, one should reserve such speech for music I think.
I was not sure where to place my post, however, considering I have a mix of general and more specific ideas as well as compositions themselves, I landed here.
To be blunt, I'm an extreme isolate, having spent the last 14 years cloistered in my home, unrepentant of my dramatic reclusion, agoraphobia and likely even more extensive pathology while adopting an equally isolating mode of life as far as online interaction is concerned. In that time I have focused on composition a lot and arrived at around 50 or so volumes of compositions, each about 500 pages long, so already, it is a bit of a life's work. I've also arrived at a perhaps- odd personality, or a kind of intensification plainly evinced in my communication, one that naturally comes along with looking inward too incautiously-- one which I ask to be forgiven for in advance, for I now feel compelled to throw a few of these compositions out there as I study the matter and manner of publication, even though, again, I seem to have no sense or talent for social networking or anything of the sort. This appears to be the simplest way of going about it, making a post, that is. Of course I can answer questions about those elements of theory I either made use of or simply invented myself for their construction, and the scores are provided as well, as lengthy as some might be.
I mixed the audio with headphones for all of these if that is relevant, I am still learning the audio engineering part which is necessary for me since most of the music I write is symphonic and can't be played by a single person, I must rely on layering audio tracks and on VSTS.
To take elements from baroque, Romantic and modern advanced harmony- from modal theory to jazz, while exceeding the formal dimensions and limitations of all these genres and the respective horizons of meaning characterizing their eras in time and their possible relationship to the Divine, which I take music as representing more than any other art-form, I suppose is my guiding principle,- one very similar to Busoni's ideal of the Young Classicism, or junger Klassizität, which aimed at an interfusion of new harmonic and melodic content drawn from advances in modern theory with old, well evinced and dutifully refined forms drawn from the classical tradition.
I wanted to include a few small pieces first, which reach about 12-15 minutes at their longest. The rubato capriccio is only four minutes in length, it uses a few elements from the old Spanish La Folia cadence, an erotic bit of delicious Italic decadence to balance my usual preoccupation with capturing the more transcendent feelings when it comes to music.
The score for this first one, compressed and printed on two staves: https://docdro.id/qz5hDud
And expanded across four staves: https://www.docdroid.net/HE3BV4o/op-21-no-21-rev-12-pdf.pdf
For the rest, I will provide compressed two-stave reductions since that is how I think musically and actually write:
I like this one but unfortunately the recording skips a little in the first few minutes and in a few other places, these are alternatives for the same, slightly different instrumentation, effects, setup, etc:
Mov 1 and Omnibus: https://soundcloud.com/josephchambers/symphony-1-openingIncomplete Mov 2 and 3: https://audiomack.com/song/parodites/orpheusrecording-online-audio-converter-com
^ This one is the first movement from the first of my symphonic fantasies, which I titled Orpheus. Score:
And then two finished larger-scale symphonic works, which are written in a musical form of my own design, the fantasy-symphony/symphonic-fantaisie, which I will make a few notes on at the bottom of this post:
Piano Symphony-fantasia No. 2, Heroic
Score for the main four movements: https://docdro.id/1o24Lai
And the score for its scherzo: https://docdro.id/4UL36L6
Phantasie-Symphony No. 4:
I am formalizing a musical structure around my symphonic-fantasias. There are four 20 minute long movements making up each of them, and each of these four movements is subdivided into 3 movements of its own, or sections really, leaving out recapitulation within the subdivisions in order to establish a ternary formula. The first theme of each movement is a thematic transformation of the one before. So the first theme of the the second movement is a transformation of the theme that started the first. And then in the fourth and last movement, all of these first themes and secondary themes (each second theme is also a transformation of the second theme in the previous movement ) will be combined, arranged, and resolved to one finale. The formal plan is a combination of thematic transformation (Pioneered by Liszt) and recapitulation, ( a staple of the sonata-allegro formalism and the general theory of classical arrangement) the fourth movement serving as a massive recapitulation, as a movement that lends to recapitulation the same weight in the musical argument that the development section possessed formerly. The development section has always had a privileged weight in the literature, because it is process intensive and classical music is obsessed with process, ie. the process of composition and resolution, with introduction and recapitulation having secondary roles.
The obsession with process began with the fugue, later evolving into the sonata-form. In the fugue it is most clearly seen: a melody, weak in itself, (in terms of expressive power) is polyphonically textured: the melody in terms of its introductory role in the three divisions of intro, development, and recap, only serves as a basic germ to be explored by the process of composition itself, an exploratory gesture pointing toward the greater analogical mimesis of the longing of longing itself, the longing for longing itself, Augustine's amor amoris or of the "lover in love with love", the deep excess "which survives in the heart of the saints like the worm in fruit", "the god-struck discontent of which man is truly a son", which draws his face to the stars out of longing, though he only gazes upon the stars because he does not know what to long for-- 1 the melancolia permeating all great works in the search for mankind's relationship to the divine, a golden symbol whose exploration these given works above all represent to us. There is in fact greatness to be found in this attitude toward art. However, in Romantic music, we find melodies with incredible expressive power, a power granted by the further development of chromatic coloration and the incorporation of the full harmonic series and those intervals not made truly available to the artistic imagination in Bach's time when the fugue was in vogue. The further development of harmony led to this unavoidable musical problem: if melody is granted this incredible expressive power, how is a melody to serve the purposes of theme, that is, how is a melody to be incorporated into a larger musical text: the purpose of that musical text, of any musical text, whether its architecture is found in the sonata, fugue, etc. is simply to make the melodies complete by developing and finding their place in a greater whole- if they are already complete in themselves, where do we go with them? These Romantic melodies cannot be developed by fugal writing, they cannot be further incorporated in this way into a larger musical argument. Even the sonata form was eventually abandoned, with Liszt advancing the idea of thematic transformation in his Symphonic poems, though it had precedent in Schuber's Wanderer Fantasy, and in Beethoven's unusually lengthy manner of composition. My new symphonic-fantasia is an attempt to develop a structure that allows such melodies to be developed in the context of a larger musical process once again, while lending equal gravity to recapitulation so as not to get fully absorbed into the development sections, like especially happens in Beethoven's development for the Eroica.
I might bring further light to the function of the symphonic phantasy with this excerpt of Drabkin's, on the subject of Beethoven's Mass.
" It is generally agreed that the music of Beethoven's maturity is among the most highly organized in the repertory of the 18th and 19th centuries, and that the analysis of any work- choral or instrumental- should take into account not only the structure of the individual movements but also the connections between them. Music theory, however, is conventionally concerned with dynamic processes- chord progressions, melodic motion, musical form as movement between regions of instability and stability- and is ill equipped as a theory to determine the conditions under which one can sensibly draw connections between distant points, for example on the basis of thematically similar material. "
It is this later matter I am concerned with, that is, creating thematic linkages between the most distant objects in the given musical structure.
I suppose that fact, combined with my free interfusion of traditions as varied as Romanticism to jazz, would imply simply: I am searching for a new music, a new harmonic and melodic landscape.
Irreverent of my intellectual vanity, I was referencing a few of my own works of philosophy and prose here:
To love is to grieve over the loss of something that was never ours. It is a feeling of
separation and self-estrangement from something nonetheless unknown and that was
never part of us, a feeling of somehow having finally been made whole by being broken
apart. It represents that state of inspired displicency so characteristic of man, which leaves
him forever the unsatisfied and bereft wanderer of the earth; that state in which the
material basis of our desires refutes itself by means of the very abundance of its
fulfillment, and in which man grows quite sickened by exhausting his pleasures of their
last, sweetened drop. The true scope of that unconscious basis from which we are so
estranged, the yearning for which all of life is absorbed as by a dim hypnogeny, could not
possibly be circumscribed by any object of our hopes and faith, and no matter how well
developed merely human felicity might become, there is consequently a sigh of
melancholy which must always enliven and animate it, which must pass over and carry it,
like the bird's feather tangled in the angel's mane. It is only because he does not know
what to yearn for, that man raises his gaze to meet the heavens and yearns for the stars.
What is called reason is not the part of human nature that stands opposed to the animality
of man, it is not properly what makes man something more than a beast. The animals
possess reason as well, they simply reason somewhat poorly. That alone possessed by
man is this slight remanence of disassociated longing which survives his extinguished
pleasures here on earth, which raises his head toward the stars; what is called fantasy, or
madness, the god-struck discontent of which he is truly the son. Experience, when it is
not paired with this imaginative capacity, is but memory; and memory, divorced from the
same capacity, is but regret.
This "love for the unknown beloved" has compelled each philosopher, in his own way, to
contribute his own symbol to the generalized mythos of the depth of the soul, the soul's
unconscious intimation of the distant unknown for which it consciously strives. One may
call to mind the incurvatus in se, the turning inward of the Christian soul, the katabasis of
the Greek myths, or the Platonic vision of Eros. One may call to mind the eternal
recurrence of Nietzsche, in which the soul's untold depth is emptied into an unbounded
future that has itself been submerged in the past; one may call to mind Kierkegaard's leap
of faith, by which the irresolvable tension of the self's underlying agonism and depth
transcends the limitations of synthetic logic by way of heavenly grace; the divine excess
of Schelling's freedom, or the Dasein of Heidegger, which reveals the soul's depth by
means of a timeless confrontation with the external universe. In each such symbol the
soul braves the unknown abyss of itself, choosing to divorce itself from a world in which
it has not been able to empty that depth of its hidden contents and in which it has found
no satisfaction of its displaced yearning. Every philosophy amounts to an enlivening of
this one basic dream, a kind of reinvention of this fundamental symbol. Yet, in each new
symbol there is brought forth a moment in which the self's orientation with the depth and
the unknown beloved can be altered, a moment in which the production of a new
subjectivity can be attained.