The blog for GHC has suffered a bit of neglect while I’ve been at trying to finish the piece. Suffice it to say that the end approaches, but is still off in the distance, covered in an ever-thinning haze. I recently sent off score and parts for one movement to Mike Golemo and I recently finished a set of parts for the lyrical slow movement, which I’m proofing at the moment.
I’ve spent the last few days polishing and tightening up the very first movement of the work, a prelude that contains energetic, canonic material and a sweeping “reveal” of the Glass House. I wrote two versions of this movement last year, only to discard them. Luckily, one of them contained the maestoso climax that I’ve incorporated into this new iteration, with hidden references to the subsequent movements also worked into the final version. It now seems ironic (if not a bit silly) that I had to compose two later movements of the piece in order to be able to go back and compose the prelude, but it seems to have worked out for the best!
Matthew Coley has recently posted this video of a reduced version of the first fast movement, which was a real treat to hear. Hearing a work played live (even with piano accompaniment) makes the piece seem so much more real, especially since I’m not a huge fan of listening to MIDI playback. Even after sending things off to Matthew I’m still keen to continue polishing the solo part, perhaps including another hi-hat moment.
I’ve also been keeping the creative juices flowing by reading up on Johnson, watching interviews, and studying both his writings and the writings of others about him. Despite the rigor of his buildings and the commitment to his craft and lifestyle (the Glass House being the intersection/epitome of those two things), Johnson retains, even in extreme old age, a lively sense of humor and infectious joy. What has become most interesting to me as the project has progressed is that the focus of the work seems to oscillate between Johnson’s work and his personality; I am by turns inspired by his many architectural achievements and his pragmatic, at times lighthearted approach to life.