Michael Lisle Dunn

Blog

Time for taking Digitiphonic stock

Firstly, I have a new video page - http://www.mldunn.net/video/ which includes all the videos I have made or been involved in including my own stuff, uk heights etc

In March Digitiphony 7 will be released. When I started writing these musical leviathans I had no idea I would get this far. it has been a voyage of discovery, fear, loathing, loving, illness, stamina-seeking and recovery. Somewhere along the road I decided I would try and make 10 Digitiphonies in my lifetime. It seemed appropriate as they would never have been written without the digital revolution, and the digital revolution would never have happened without the digits 1 and 0. When I had a stroke whilst writing Digitiphony 5 I thought that might be the end of it, but no, these weird (perhaps) musical statements were determined to go on emerging in spite of the frailness of the human body trying to keep up with composing them.

However, having written and recorded 7 of them I think it is time to pause and take stock. If ever these Digitiphonies were to be performed, which I hope one day they will be, they would need to be carefully and empathetically scored out, and that is no small task for just one of them, let alone all seven, not least because my computers, when I started No. 1 in 2006, were far less powerful and I had to assemble them in stages and separate layers as I did not have the cpu strength do record them all at once. In my frantic rush to get them written I did not pay heed to how easy it might, or might not be, to reassemble them to score them out. When Steinberg and Daniel Spreadbury first mooted the idea of building a new score writing program for the 21st Century I was very excited as I knew this would be perfect, with its graphical capabilities and flexible engraving within frames, for scoring Digitiphonies. After 4+ years of development, Dorico was finally released at the end of last year and as some may know, I have already delved deep into it, using it to score out my Concerto for Harp.

So, I have gone back to Digitiphony 1, dug out a motley selection of files and notes and started work scoring it out in Dorico. Due to the above reasons it is going to be a long job. As I get through all the Digitiphonies I think they will get easier for me to score as it will involve less reassembly from different projects, but to get through all of them is going to take me the best part of a decade. I will have to pause frequently as I am not able to stay sane without writing new music, and exploring new musical territory - the eminent composer Alan Belkin is starting an online series of instructional videos in modern harmony https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/an-online-course-about-modern-harmony-music#/ , which I will also want to devote some time to studying.

So things may seem quieter around here for a while - if you wondered why, that is the reason !

Mike

February 2017