Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Anthem

I have to admit that the closer we've come to Election Day, the more I've been paying attention and getting excited. It reached a point where I couldn't get to sleep last night and this morning I bolted out of bed at the sound of my alarm. I made it to the polls around 7:00am (they opened at 6:30am here in Ohio), cast my votes, got my "I voted" sticker, and stopped by Starbuck's for a free beverage (I'm not a coffee guy - they were nice enough to give me a free tea).

I mention all this because my Election day excitement has manifested itself in my latest composition. Looking over this year's portfolio, I saw that I was lacking a major-key piece for intermediate-level orchestras so I decided on the key of F major and set to work. My inspirations are not always apparent (even to me) and I realized after I got into the process that the style was inspired by the music for all the news shows covering the election - especially John Williams' "Mission Theme" for NBC and the CNN trumpets. For the B section of my new tune I borrowed a chord progression from a certain inspirational pop song from the 1980's. It's going to be an overture and for the middle section I think I'm going to do something like the hard part of Gauntlet - very nebulous, with overlapping motifs in a contrasting D minor. Like in Gustav Holst's "Jupiter," I think it's important to have a little sadness to temper the joy. Keeping with my inspiration for the piece, I want to acknowledge the sacrifices and heartaches that accompany a triumph.

I won't be able to work on the piece tonight (I'll be channel-surfing all night between CNBC, CNN, and NBC. And Comedy Central a little too) but I'll write again when I've completed a little more. I should also note that I'm not committed to a title yet. Chances are that by the time I submit the piece to my publishers, the title won't give any indication that I was inspired by the election.

Get out and vote! No excuses!

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