Monday, July 27, 2015

Imaginary Venn Diagram: Sewing Intersecting with Composing

I have dismally failed at making a Venn diagram to illustrate the phenomenon I have been experiencing these last few days, so words will have to suffice.

A couple of weeks ago I made a post about the "Supreme State of Sew," and since that time I have been alternating between sewing and writing a piece for string quartet. The piece for string quartet is a set of variations on a theme that I wrote many years ago (at least 10), and have used before, but not in a piece for string quartet. The sewing I have been doing is similar in spirit. I have been taking old pieces of clothing that no longer fit me (or never fit me properly), and turning them into useful pieces of clothing. A huge Indian dress from the 1990s that has the label "one size" has become a comfortable and size-appropriate skirt, and a skirt from the 1990s that was always too long and had an elastic waist that has lost its "spring" has turned into a shorter skirt with pleats and a waistband. Another dress that lost its elastic has become a skirt, and I have one more "one size" dress to convert.

The whole process is kind of thrifty. I don't need to make room in my closet because the items at hand are already taking up space there. I also don't need to spend any money (except for the occasional fastener or package of bias tape which is useful in making waistbands).

I always have repeating musical figures that run through my head when I sew. This time, because I was busy at work on a piece of music, the music I was working on was running through my head. While sewing I would work things out in the music I was writing. While I was at work on my piece, I would occasionally get a solution to sewing problem. This is the first time that my "state of sew" has intersected so intimately with my extended "state of bow." It's been a great couple of weeks!

Here's a computer-generated recording of the piece.

The music is in the IMSLP.


Jean Petree said...

I like your new String Quartet sew much!!

Elaine Fine said...

That makes me sew happy!

Jean Petree said...

I'm enjoying practicing it.