Composition exam

Three weeks ago I received a task from a teacher to compose a piece, using some composing tools of Bela Bartok.

Thinking about the new piece and it’s structure I soon came up with an idea of a composition consisting of four small pieces, each of a different character. So next time at the lesson I already presented few melodies. Then week after came time to create a title. Well, for me it’s somehow easy to find titles for my pieces and since I feel like missing Russian people and the culture, it didn’t take me too long. One relaxed morning at my small room here in Geneva, I started to imagine gentle Russian forests, yellow fields and calm rivers… And even though I was not born in Russia and have been there only once as a small kid, but I have seen so many Russian movies from different period and listened to so many Russian composers, and, also my home country – Estonia – is not very far from the Russian culture, so in half an hour came up with a title for the piece. Missing all the people and also because of my love towards melancholic Russian music: Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Mussorgsky I imagined a story, that could happen to me, when I will next time travel to Russia: sitting in a train, arriving – going to walk in a forest, meeting a beautiful Russian girl, who will sing me a song one warm summer evening and we dance together… Anyway, “Once Upon A Time In Russia” is the title, with a four pieces in it: Canon Of Two Rabbits, Dance Of A Bear Accompanied With Balalaika, Song Of The Masha and Russian Dance.

Was all that easy? Not actually… I had some difficulties, finishing the piece. When I started to work on the harmony, melody and structure, I  managed to compose only three pieces instead of planned four. The day of an exam was approaching and since I didn’t had any clear idea about the fourth part, I decided to play at the exam only three of them… We meet for a rehearsal with my guitar duo partner, we played the piece, but it sounded like unfinished… But still, better than nothing! Hm, I felt a bit unsatisfied with myself… 🙂 I mean, I don’t like working under the pressure of deadlines, but as a professional composer, one has to get accustomed to that. But I also like to do things as good as I can. So I was in a small contradiction with myself: on one side I don’t like pressure and on the other – I want to do correctly my job.

Went almost a week. And today morning I woke up – sun was already shining in my window through a small space left between two curtains, – I took a cup of coffee with some dark chocolate and… Suddenly, I came up with a clear vision of the fourth part!!! Just one day before the exam music started to sound in my head! Yahoo! Well, the music turned out to be a bit tricky technically, but I will try my best to make it work at the performance 🙂