Here’s my latest work of music.  It’s a canon for 2 clarinets and an English horn, with a piano playing the chords:

A PDF score can be found here: Canon for a Rainy Day.

The canon kind of came out of nowhere.  I was trying to write one last month, but it just wasn’t working, so I scrapped it.  Then I sort of arbitrarily decided to write one with a chord progression of I-IV-I-V-IV-iii-IV-V.  I ended up changing the first V chord to a iii, so in the end the chord progression became I-IV-I-iii-IV-iii-IV-V.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear how good that first I-IV shift can sound with the right melody.  They’re major chords, yet with the appropriate style, there’s something a bit wistful about it, almost nostalgic.  And of course the iii chord only adds to that feeling.

The themes introduced by the first clarinet, then passed to the English horn, then to the second clarinet, contrasting and complimenting each other as they are passed along.  I was originally writing the canon for piano and violins, but I wanted something with a lower range than the violin and I knew clarinets would really compliment the piano.  (Plus, sampled solo strings don’t sound that great in Garritan Personal Orchestra, at least not without a good amount of tweaking, so I don’t work with them much anymore.  I love its woodwinds, though.)  I also wanted an oboe, but its range does not go low enough, so I went with an English horn instead.

Overall, I am very pleased with how the canon came out.  It was pouring rain outside as I wrote it, and the canon sounded rather wistful anyway, so the name “Canon for a Rainy Day” seemed appropriate.

Also, I was very tired while I was writing this, so the calm lullaby quality of the piece was constantly beckoning me to fall asleep at my desk.  I was able to resist, but when I’m composing when I’m that tired, I’m unable to think straight and it makes the composing process very strange and dream-like.

Also, my pizza went cold while I was obsessed with writing this, so I know what it’s like to sacrifice something for my art.


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