Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Journey

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This is a work in progress...

I ordinarily take about 3-6 months, sometimes more, to create a 5 minute piece of music. I can only devote around ten to twenty minutes each day to composing. And each note takes a bit of time to get right using my hand coding of Csound input. Slow but steady, you might say.

So it is with some trepidation that I've undertaken to participate in the RPM Challenge 2008: Record an album of ten songs or 35 minutes of music during the month of February 2008. That's about 60 times faster than my ordinary work habits. But what the hell, I'll give it a go.

To try to focus my mind around the challenge, I'm writing a sound track to an imaginary movie about the Donner Party. You know, the forlorn group that set out in April 1846 for California, only to be waylaid by a late October snowstorm while trying to cross the Sierras. Many starved to death over the next few months as their meager rations ran out. Half did not make it to Sacramento. Those that did told horrid tales of cannibalism. I've been thinking about an opera based on the story for many years, but that's too much for this effort.

Here's today's start of the first scene, when the participants set out from Springfield, IL, headed for Independence, MO. There is optimism in the air. As the wiki says: The trip is timed to begin when the spring rains have subsided and grass for the draft animals is available, and to end before snow makes the Sierra Nevada impassable.

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