C.84 - "Adventures in Wonderland - Chapter 1 (Full)"

Composed: August to September 2015

     This one had completely swept past me – I somehow forgot to add this to my completed list. This isn’t so much a wholly new composition, but instead it is a continuation of "C.79 - Adventures in Wonderland".

     By this time, I had been researching into "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland" for some time, and had been cooking up themes and motives for as many characters as I could (all of which are kept in my little manuscript book). The relevant sketches for this chapter were written on 7th July 2015 (highlighted):

Figure 1: The earliest sketches for "Adventures in Wonderland - Chapter 1 (Full)"

C.1 - "Free" Motif

     The material for the "Queen of Hearts" makes an appearance here (and, indeed, it makes a greater appearance within "C.143"), as is the glissando nature between the two chords, even if the notes were not identical. A "water gong" was also included in the finished piece, as was noted in these sketches.


    I had written some of this piece in August during my trip to Florida, but I wrote the majority of it when I returned to England in September 2015, ultimately "finishing" the chapter by the 30th September.

     I say "finished" for some reasons: to start, I am not happy with the result at all. Never had the realization hit me as hard as it did then. My orchestration skills were awful. In the span of a single chapter, I depleted more or less every possible orchestral colour in the palette – how on earth was I to do 11 further chapters and keep the interest going? In my ignorance, I added instrument after instrument, using too much when really all that was needed was too few. While some of the motifs might have worked, the way I orchestrated them completely destroyed them. I had even added to the material I had previously written for "C.79", as if that wasn't busy enough!

     It was not until after "C.88" (which I shall get to later) that I truly recognized this, which is the reason I have not been working on the piece for many months now, and have instead been working on a little instrumentation booklet for college music students – killing two birds with one stone by teaching myself and others.

Reminiscence written on 22nd July 2016

Last updated: 20th October 2018