So after a little “I’m too tired to cope with life/I’m not a composer” meltdown (yes, complete with tears #tragic) I managed to reign in my diva tendencies and put down something that isn’t actually awful. It’s a starting point at least!
I took a pretty basic chord progression to start off with, I, ii, IV V, I. I added 9th and 7ths to those notes. I put the ‘clashes’ in the Soprano/Alto part and open fifths in the Bass/Tenor Part. I put all of these notes in a block chords, one chord per bar. Then I messed around with the voice leading and chords, using my ear to lead me to what I think the next chord should be. I added some rhythmic movement in the soprano and alto by using the words to shape a more natural rhythmic phrase.
Once I had the first phrase I copy and pasted it and varied some voice leading, particularly the ending to reflect the words “deep, deep down” with descending movement.
I added the 2/4 bar as I felt that chord needed a little more time before moving on the second line. That might perhaps just become a pause, but I added it to get around the dodgy playback of MuseScore for now.
The next step/things to think about:
I’m starting to imagine a piece with a lot of space at the start and then perhaps layering up in intensity in the middle. I’m thinking the tempo should be slower too.
The Alto part is sitting quite high, so I may change parts of the line to a soprano 2 part and add another lower alto line.