I finally got to the stage where I feel happy with my composition structure, so now all that was left was to add the lyrics in properly and the dynamics/articulation all that shiny stuff.
So why did I leave my lyrics as the last task? I wrote this piece thinking of the sounds of the chords and how they communicated the words of the poem. Also I feel my piece is less about a strong melody line and more about the atmospheric effect of the chords. As I was composing I was referring to this sketch (see picture below) that I did earlier on in the process to help me track the important words, if I was going to repeat any phrases and any words I was going to leave out of the poem. I did feel the poem was a little too conversational so for the flow of the song I didn’t use the poem word for word in order the whole way through.
The biggest challenge I had with lyrics was reconciling the canonic, suspension filled harmonic rhythms with lyrics that would be audible and understandable, but not totally “monophonic” (if you can apply that word to lyric writing) the whole way through. I tried to think about when I wanted words to line up, and when I wanted the melody and the narrative to weave through the parts. I really feel like I can hear the words in my head as I was setting them, which I suppose is a side effect of the hundreds of hours I spend singing in choirs every week.
I’m really excited to record this now, and see if it sounds like it does in my head!