¿Qué rápido eres tú?

If you are reading this blog post between 7:30 - 9:30 AM this morning, know that my students and I are sitting in a classroom (with windows, thankfully) dutifully taking a final exam. Or, more like they are taking a final exam, and I am the one inflicting pain. Any empathetic thoughts sent our way would be greatly appreciated, since normal brain function does not exist before 9 AM. I am bringing dark chocolate espresso beans to soften the blow.

Since this quarter is wrapping up (yes, we are almost there, and yes, we are still taking final exams), I thought it would be interesting to enter a competition where I write a piece in 14 days, so I entered the Rapido! competition. (For those who are Spanish-illiterate, rápido means fast. Go figure.)

Actually, I have 14 days before my engagement in Switzerland begins, so I more like have 11 days to write a 4-6 minute piece for flute, clarinet, cello, and piano. (Hm. Another subset of pierrot ensemble. More on this later.) I am also supposed to write three miniatures; this is the form of the piece.

The competition has also given us participants potential sources of inspiration, mainly three Alexander Calder sculptures found in the regional cities (Atlanta, Chicago, and Boston). Have these Calder creations influenced creative minds in the past? I think so. (The first thing that comes to my mind is the Calder Quartet. Fight on guys; I was at USC the same time you were there, but you probably don't remember me....) At this rate, I'll take whatever inspiration I can get. I only have so much time, you know.