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https://www.instagram.com/p/BFuYJr9LCEs/?hl=en (full score attached, see below for issues)

I've posted before here about Olivia Jageur's 15secondharp.com initiative, which you should definitely take advantage of if you're confused/enraptured by the vagaries of harp writing (you write 15 seconds or less of music, send it to her, she videos herself playing it and gives feedback).

Anyway, she periodically teams up with another musician and invites duet submissions. Last month was cello. As it happens, I'd written something for her previous collab with a trumpeter but felt it wouldn't quite work, but cello was perfect.

Caveats: they played it slower so this starts on mm 2 to fit into 15 seconds. I wasn't sure about bowing notation in mm 5 and 6 so left it unslurred, as a result Abi played the notes detache instead of flowing legato (my fault) - however the earlier passage with confident notation was played just as I intended. The depth of feedback they gave is amazing.

I know for some of you having your music played is just a thing that happens, but for me it's quite something to send a score, even a small one, without a reference track and hear the musicians play it pretty much perfectly (excepting the issues created by my own lack of notation) on a cold reading. I still feel like it's somehow too easy.

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It's always interesting to see how our work is interpreted by others.

Did you mark the pedaling or was that from her input?

Nice work.

I marked the pedals - standard tuning with a quick change to Db and back - but she changed it to C#. I should ask her why, but looking at the score I'm guessing it's to keep the ringing D notes. Don't know why it didn't occur to me to do that. She's said that harpists will often change pedalling and notation to taste, which is fine by me, but I'd like to be as accurate as possible out of courtesy.

Tim Marko said:

It's always interesting to see how our work is interpreted by others.

Did you mark the pedaling or was that from her input?

Nice work.

Why not 12/8?

I'm not good with time signatures. In any case, in 12/8 the start of measures don't "land" properly.

Greg Brus said:

Why not 12/8?

I mean with adjusting the note values, of course. Just make it so all those triplets (there's a huge number of them) are regular notes, make the rest fit accordingly. Would clean up the score a bit.

Ah, I see. Olivia actually suggested this, changing most of them to spread chords (discovering if the wall of notes was readable and playable was one of my aims, and it turns out it's playable but hardly ideal!)

Greg Brus said:

I mean with adjusting the note values, of course. Just make it so all those triplets (there's a huge number of them) are regular notes, make the rest fit accordingly. Would clean up the score a bit.

Cool piece and a neat concept, thanks for posting!

Bob,

That's true, and the sheer plenitude of valid approaches coupled with my growing knowledge means I now take most "corrections" with a pinch of salt (most things I've been advised against, or have seen advised against, I have also come across in concert scores somewhere)...

But harp writing is known to be tricksy and idiosyncratic so when an excellent harpist suggests another way - something they apparently do anyway on their scores without saying anything - I'm all ears.

(Mozart is one of my big supports in favour of "you can thin out that notation some" even if the situation was a bit different with him)

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