Author Topic: Henning's Headquarters  (Read 1078445 times)

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Offline Cato

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8500 on: November 24, 2021, 01:17:18 PM »
Something of a nod to our then-tuplet-nester-in-residence, Luke, the piece cost David some pains in rehearsing,


Would that be Luke Ottevanger the 21st-century successor to Scriabin  (at least in England)  8)  ?


So sad that he has gone silent for whatever reason: I cannot get a response these days from his wife either (she used to write a few words on FaceBook).
« Last Edit: November 24, 2021, 04:53:12 PM by Cato »
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8501 on: November 24, 2021, 02:30:12 PM »
He's truly gone off-grid.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8502 on: November 29, 2021, 12:20:46 PM »
No real update yet on my compositional impetus. That said, It is high time that I determined just what my church choir is singing for December and for Lessons & Carols on Christmas Eve. I put in that work after church yesterday. In the past, we have sung the Coventry Carol ... for this year I feel I want to arrange it, and add a flute obbligato for our teenage flutist (who is a senior now) so this will be my first composition-like work in months. Will report
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8503 on: November 30, 2021, 04:14:28 PM »
’Tis a modest enough piece of work, but I chopped out the Coventry Carol arrangement today. I am pleased.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8504 on: December 01, 2021, 07:31:34 AM »
No real update yet on my compositional impetus.

I'm sure all composers have gone through whether or not to continue, but do you feel that you're having some kind of creative crisis, Karl?
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8505 on: December 01, 2021, 07:50:57 AM »
I'm sure all composers have gone through whether or not to continue, but do you feel that you're having some kind of creative crisis, Karl?

Perhaps, and I'm hoping it may pass in December's course.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8506 on: December 01, 2021, 08:00:47 AM »
Perhaps, and I'm hoping it may pass in December's course.

Yes, hopefully it will pass. Remember that Stravinsky had many creative crises through his career. The last one he had almost made him stop completely until he found inspiration in serialism.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8507 on: December 01, 2021, 08:02:26 AM »
Yes, hopefully it will pass. Remember that Stravinsky had many creative crises through his career. The last one he had almost made him stop completely until he found inspiration in serialism.

You're right, of course. Thanks.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline VonStupp

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8508 on: December 04, 2021, 11:51:21 AM »
’Tis a modest enough piece of work, but I chopped out the Coventry Carol arrangement today. I am pleased.

Fun! Did you base yours off of a church hymn version or did you harmonize the carol yourself? Or was it a matter of adding a flute obbligato to your (and your teen flautist's) satisfaction?

We have been rehearsing an arrangement of Coventry by Tim Stevenson; the strings/organ turn bitonal, built upon planing stacked quartals, when the angry Herod verse starts. It has been interesting, but a lovely, haunting carol.

VS
“All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.”

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8509 on: December 04, 2021, 12:32:24 PM »
Fun! Did you base yours off of a church hymn version or did you harmonize the carol yourself? Or was it a matter of adding a flute obbligato to your (and your teen flautist's) satisfaction?

We have been rehearsing an arrangement of Coventry by Tim Stevenson; the strings/organ turn bitonal, built upon planing stacked quartals, when the angry Herod verse starts. It has been interesting, but a lovely, haunting carol.

VS

Really, all I did was add a couple of flute apostrophes to the traditional carol, and have the flute reinforce some of the choral parts. The Stevenson sounds very nice!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline krummholz

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8510 on: December 26, 2021, 05:05:51 PM »
I’ve been mulling of late, partly in response to a virtual acquaintance’s recent enthusiasm for composer N. Composer N. is perhaps a year older than I. She’s an internationally celebrated composer. In fact, I met her at Symphony Hall after a Boston performance of a piece of hers. The Boston Symphony may never play any of my music. There is no benefit to the idle speculation that it is possible they may play my music after my death. When composer N. is commissioned to write a piece, the sum of money is considerable. If I and composer N. sat down in conversation, and I told her the sum I was paid for my recent commission, she might perhaps laugh, if she were not such a nice person, as all reports suggest. None of this is composer N.’s fault, and it’s not a zero-sum game. While I do not believe I hold any of it against composer N., I did not enjoy nor think much of the piece that night at Symphony. I do consider in hindsight that I may simply have been resentful, but neither do I feel that I owe anything to composer N. It also doesn’t help, that the artistic director of a choir dedicated to performing new music, turned a piece of mine down (a piece of which many colleagues think highly) with the ‘explanation’ that my music is not like that of composer N., upon whom they lavish their musical love.

But enough of composer N., whom I wish no ill whatever, and who I hope will continue to enjoy success and prosperity.

Today, I debate which better describes my state: low motivation or nil motivation. My thoughts of late have not (despite the theme of the first paragraph) dwelt upon either resentment of successful living composers, nor self-pity. I am wondering what my goal should be, or even if having a goal is of any use to me. For instance, up to now (let’s say) I have had the ambition that the Boston Symphony Orchestra should play music of mine. But it is plain to me that this is a foolish ambition, as there is nothing I can do to make such a thing happen. Today, I wonder if having that as an ambition (or even as a hope) is not merely pointless but self-deceiving.

So, what?

An old friend of mine composes only when commissioned to do so, and has enjoyed some performance opportunities of which I can only dream. I certainly do not resent him, nor feel envious of him. In a general way, I might wish that I were in a similar position, but if I composed only on commission, I should not have written White Nights, nor either of my two symphonies. It is pointless for me to wish that I had been commissioned to write these, I am practically a musical nobody and I have certainly been treated so by musical somebodies. I am not going to be the next John Williams. Setting aside the speculative q. of whether I could successfully score a film, the universe has not afforded me any such opportunity. Nor am I going to be the next John Adams, Philip Glass or Joan Tower. I observe merely factually, with neither envy nor resentment, that the universe has not afforded me even such opportunity.

Then there is the clarinet, from which I have been perforce separated by my stroke. I pursue my therapy and do my homework. My determination remains staunch. Yet with the impaired sensation in my fingers, it is simply impossible to know, today, when I shall be able to play again. But I ain’t stoppin’.

Perhaps this week I am asking myself, why should I still compose? For most of my composing life, notwithstanding my negligible level of success, I never needed to ask myself such a question. When I was in rehab after my stroke, I did not ask myself any such question, it was simply that I wanted to compose. For only one thing, I was determined to complete White Nights.

As I write today, the latest of the Op. 169 organ pieces I composed was 31 May, and I don’t know whether I’ll finish the set as conceived. The last I worked on the string symphony was 4 Oct. I make no claim or promise as to the future. I can only say, I don’t feel like writing today.

I must have just missed this when I stopped frequenting the Composing and Performing section a couple of months ago. Karl, I don't really know what to say. I feel your frustration and bitterness. I suspect all artists go through this, and I myself experienced very fallow periods as a student when nothing that I tried worked. But I can't have any idea of what it must be like for someone who composes professionally. I only hope that you are feeling better these days and are finding your creative voice again.

Be well my friend.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2021, 05:11:56 PM by krummholz »

Offline krummholz

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8511 on: December 26, 2021, 05:13:23 PM »
’Tis a modest enough piece of work, but I chopped out the Coventry Carol arrangement today. I am pleased.

Good to hear this, Karl! I hope it's a harbinger of better times to come.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8512 on: December 26, 2021, 05:42:37 PM »
I must have just missed this when I stopped frequenting the Composing and Performing section a couple of months ago. Karl, I don't really know what to say. I feel your frustration and bitterness. I suspect all artists go through this, and I myself experienced very fallow periods as a student when nothing that I tried worked. But I can't have any idea of what it must be like for someone who composes professionally. I only hope that you are feeling better these days and are finding your creative voice again.

Be well my friend.

Thanks!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8513 on: December 27, 2021, 04:52:03 AM »
Karl,

How did your Christmas carol arrangement go?

PD

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8514 on: December 27, 2021, 09:06:11 AM »
It was fine, thanks!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8515 on: January 02, 2022, 02:36:05 AM »
It was fine, thanks!
Is it recorded Karl as I'd like to hear it?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8516 on: January 02, 2022, 03:56:12 AM »
Is it recorded Karl as I'd like to hear it?

Thanks, Jeffrey, but no document, I'm afraid.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8517 on: January 24, 2022, 09:38:07 PM »
Sometime over the summer, I decided that the Symphony № 3 would be in Louis’s memory, and that it would be for strings only. Perhaps as late as September, I felt it should be a single movement, and run perhaps 20 minutes. The idea of writing the piece was certainly lying there in the back of my mind, but I was just a little surprised at myself when I actually set to composing. On 26 Sep the piece was not quite two minutes long. With today’s work, it runs to six minutes. I’m content to just putter at it at irregular intervals. My non-stony resolution upon completing the third symphony is not even to think about a fourth until one of the first three will have been performed. But we shall see.

FWIW: Tonight I've done the first work on the Opus 175 since 4 October
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline aligreto

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8518 on: January 25, 2022, 03:13:57 AM »
FWIW: Tonight I've done the first work on the Opus 175 since 4 October

Congratulations, Karl. Small steps...  ;)
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline krummholz

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #8519 on: January 25, 2022, 04:02:25 AM »
FWIW: Tonight I've done the first work on the Opus 175 since 4 October

Great news, Karl! May this be a productive year for you.