Sketch for Strings v1

sketch for strings v1Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a piece for strings (flute assist). The file here is the current and unfinished version. I find this kind of writing very enjoyable, but it’s incredibly more difficult than my typical guitar-and-voice folk writing. Bach and Mozart and Company must’ve all had IQs off the charts to do what they did. This sort of thing also takes me a tremendous amount of time, so if anyone has any (non-medicated) ideas for how to healthily stay up all night for weeks on end, please let me know.

Anyway, this piece is a meditation on some of the themes in the Hawk books. Most of my non-vocal music these days is revolving around them. The books, from one perspective (mine, at least), are studies on the lamentations of life: death, loss, regret, etc (aside: I had a recent, puzzling review in which the reviewer chastised me for the very un-serious nature of the books).

I’ve always considered that life itself is largely about lamentation. Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of wonderful things in life (case in point: spend a few minutes with my 6-year-old and my 2-year-old and you’ll realize that) , but the venue is dark. The world groans with the weight of darkness. Forgive me for being blunt, but you’d have to be a fool to not realize this.

My favorite law of thermodynamics, entropy, says that matter becomes more disorganized as time passes. Things fall apart. I’d argue that applies equally to us humans and our society. Things really do fall apart. Whether it be the recent movement in academia to legalize post-birth abortion (how’s that for a euphemism?), the pastor in Iran waiting his execution for refusing to convert to Islam, or the curious and dreary spectacle of our current politics in the US–things crumble into ruin.

I suppose you might be wondering, is this poor crank of a writer depressed? No, not really. After all, the hopeful and encouraging thing in all of this is that light shines much brighter in the darkness, even if it is a very small candle flame. And that, I think, with all of its inherent promise, is enough to guarantee a peaceful night’s sleep. That brings us to tomorrow, of course, but that’s another day.

12 thoughts on “Sketch for Strings v1”

  1. I have begun a re-read of The Hawk and His Boy and an essay with detailed observations. Lots of kudos for a fine book. Nice musical piece above, too. I have a semi-famous book reviewer (Vanessa from Elitist, also a McKillip fan) with the Tormay books on her reading list. As soon as my
    re-read is done, I will submit an Amazon review!

    1. Thanks! I’m looking forward to your comments. I’ll take my medicine. Vanessa from Elitist? Okay, now you’re scaring me.

  2. The music sounds like a lament but without the feeling of heaviness and hopelessness. Do you know the Gymnopedie (sp?) by Erik Satie? Very sweet also like this. I’m glad that you’re not depressed in spite of all the darkness in the world. You have been a sober person all the time I’ve known you, so it’s good to know. I’m going to read those books.

    1. Thanks – I hope you enjoy the books. I haven’t actually heard of the Gymnopedie. I’ll try to find it and give it a listen. No, I’m definitely not depressed. There’s plenty of hope around to alleviate things (just enough).

      1. Sober? You? I think that’s false advertising. Oh, granted, you *look* it, and you don’t shy away from the darker sides of life (as you’ve just aptly demonstrated). But there’s a wicked streak of humour underneath, along with a goodly dash of silliness. They just don’t necessarily show on your face.
        Funny about your books being called too un-serious. If they were any *more* serious, I don’t think I could have liked them…

        1. False advertising is very effect (see: Most of TV Commercials in Existence). Though, in my case, I think it sometimes irritates my wife. Yes, I think if I had written those things in a slightly more serious fashion, I probably would’ve been obligated to include a suicide-hotline number in the back.

  3. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, or so I’ve heard. I think I will use tablespoons.

    How scary can Vanessa be if she loves McKillip? I recently found a one-volume edition of Riddle-Master and really enjoyed it. Thanks for the recommendation. Are you writing or planning more Tormay novels? I thought the end begged for more. Did I miss something or was the fourth anbeorun never revealed?

    1. The Riddlemaster trilogy really is amazing. There are not a lot of books that I enjoy re-reading, but that one easily makes my short list. Yes, I’m planning on writing at least a couple more Tormay books. I have one sketched out and in partial first-draft stage already. The characters in the trilogy forced me to leave the ending open, simply due to who they are. Characters like Declan Farrow have a lot more of their lives left to live. And, of course, there’s the sceadu down in the tunnels. I’m going to have to deal with him one day.

      The fourth anbeorun was revealed in the third book. I’m hesitant to go into it in a comment here, due to being a massive spoiler, but I can FB you about it?

  4. I meant tablespoons because I have plenty of good things to say, not because there is a lot of medicine to give! ♥

  5. That’s why I need to reread completely before commenting further. I’m sure the reveal of the fire anbeorun was obvious, but my brain is porous. Btw, I just love the word anbeorun and the name Levoreth. Good character and place names enhances a work of fantasy so very much.

  6. I did not answer your question, though. I’d rather just re-read without explanation. If it is still unclear, well. . . . It probably isn’t. You did not answer my question about more stories from the world of the Tormay trilogy. Please do not leave me in suspense!

    1. Creating the names was a lot harder than I thought. Most of them are based on Old English (including “anbeorun”), but Levoreth is one of the few I made up on my own. She’s my favorite.

      Yes! I shall definitely be writing more Tormay stories. There should be quite a few more…

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