A Recommitment to Contemporary Music

Before I continue to explain my framework to describe music, I have to share something that happened to me three days ago. I was composing a prayer for Sinai Temple, a cantorial, very tonal, piece,  and I decided to look into  the last piano pieces I composed before I started to compose choral music. I listened to my 12 preludes and to a piece called Melody,Harmony and Rhythm.  These pieces haven’t seen the light of day yet, nobody has played them. But something very curious happened. I loved the Preludes and then I couldn’t quite grasp the Melody, Harmony and Rhythm one.  I listened to that piece several times, its three sections, and it started to come back to me what I had been doing and I realized that piece was probably the deepest expression of myself I had attempted to date. I had been skipping concerts of new music because I didn’t like most of what I heard and I had been writing mostly tonal music. Sometimes in my choral music I would use extended harmonies (not your normal chords but different, more dissonant ones), bitonality (two scales used at the same time), modal harmonies (medieval scales) and I enjoyed doing that but after hearing my Melody, Harmony  & Rhythm I realized earlier I had been on a deep quest to discover my own music, something more unique, and that I had put it aside for a while to write music that more people could understand. However, I realized that when I left the search it had really started to get to a different level and that I could not abandon it any more than I could abandon music itself in my life. So I just wanted to let you know that whatever else I do in my musical life, I will keep this exploration going and, hopefully, I will get to where this journey has been taking me for many, many years.

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