I've been asked whether I might like to add a saxophone part to Blue Plea so that Saulo Berti and Mario Ciaccio can perform it as a duo. I had actually started to do this earlier, but it wasn't going well so I dropped the idea. But now I've picked it up again.
This time, I'm taking a little more care to respect the nature of the piece, which is, as the title suggests, blue and plaintive. I find that my usual method of part-writing, which is heavy in imitative counterpoint, can't be broadly applied because it ruins the sparse sound, which is integral to the blueness and plaintiveness.
In my new attempt, there's still a little bit of imitative counterpoint - just hints of it. But more often, I use the second instrument (whichever that happens to be at any given moment) as background - quiet, sustained - to the primary instrument. This technique seems to preserve, maybe even increase, the blueness. It feels a little weird because, well, it's simpler than imitative counterpoint.
Simpler, but maybe not easier. I still have to use my ear and listen carefully to what the piece is doing and what it wants to be doing and try to get those to coincide. It's still painstaking.
I'm almost a quarter through the revision, and so far so good.