Well folks, I finally completed that orchestra project that I've been stressing over during the past couple of months. At first I was reluctant to write the piece because it is a non-commissioned school-related project, but now I feel that this piece is something I should be proud of. (I mean, it might actually sound good, despite the MIDI playback that made my ears bleed a little.)
Despite this sense of accomplishment and relief, I am a bit apprehensive about the artistic reception of the work because its construction takes us a hundred years into the past. It's programmatic.* The concept is extra-musical.** It sounds so…Neo-Romantic and…French.
Would an American orchestral work influenced by a French oceanic documentary and turn-of-the-century French orchestration appear to be a knockoff of a French symphonic poem? Maybe. Have I created Eurotrash? Possibly. However, despite my borrowing from the last century, I'm looking to the future: I turned my symphonic poem into a medium in which I comment on current issues. Stay tuned.
*The program notes will be read by a narrator. I have not found an actor yet. So, if you have an older, baritone voice and you're in town in April, let me know.
**The title of the work, Le monde du silence, is taken from the Jacques-Yves Cousteau's 1956 documentary of the same name.