Although i haven’t listened to the national anthems of the world enough to be able to sing them all by memory, i’ve gotten to a point where i can at least recognize most of them and i have a better feel for how they all work. Because of this, the shape of the piece is now coming into my head.
In terms of form, most of the anthems fall into three different categories: 1) a beginning and an end, 2) a beginning, a middle, and an end, or 3) an introduction, a beginning, a middle, and an end. So now the idea i have is to use the intro-beginning-middle-end form as the basis for the piece, it’s just that the intro will use all of the intros, the beginning will use all of the beginnings, &c. I think that this is pull-offable because there are a great deal of similarities between the feel of many of the anthems. With a handful of exceptions, the anthems sound like, well, anthems. Blending a lot of those anthems together won’t be a challenge in itself (although there are other challenges in there to consider).
So now that that idea is out there, i’m going to start bulidng an excel spreadsheet matrix that labels the anthems by their number, shows their defining characteristics in text form, and then has a small JPG of the beginning, middle, and end of all of the anthems. Then i can use that as a starting point for grouping, figure out what goes together with what, and then i’ll start sketching stuff out on paper. probably will be able to start that a week and a half from now.
The one challenge with this in an excel spreadsheet is whether or not jpgs can be associated with a cell and thus be part of a sort. I’ll experiment with that in the next few days and hopefully be able to figure it out.