Been awhile, I know, but when you live at 7,000 feet like I do, summers are WAY to short. So I’ve been outside pretty much since the end of May. Music is not really on my agenda. However, I did manage to finally finish this piece that I started last April.
In April, I was reading the Aaron Copland book “What to listen for in Music” and I ran across the section discussing the Four Essential Elements of Music: rhythm, melody, harmony, and tone color. I thought, “ what a cool idea if I were to combine polar opposites of each element together into one piece. (Boy! Was I delusional!)
So the result? Well.. I’d be the first to admit it was an experiment. As it turns out, not such a good one and it certainly will never be played. In fact, I was going to rip it up and do something else, but I had already put too much energy into it to toss it and there was something in it I liked, so I kept it…..if nothing more than to torture you-all. Lol
Melody: I took a “march” and juxtapose it with a introverted lamenting “new age” type melody, thereby choosing a melody that was pretty much the antithesis of a rollicking march.
Harmony: Thatwas easy, use old-school 19th century with more modern/contemporary harmony.
Tone color: It runs the gamut from lush orchestral music, to a bombastic march, to new age, to a string quartet, to a quirky something or another, etc.
Rhythm: from umpapa band and simple 4 meter to bizarre meters and complex oddities.
You get the picture….(be nice,) a complex mixture!
Not to leave “Form” out of this bag of tricks, it presents itself also as” Incongruous” in its nature. The piece is roughly a combination of three types of forms.
It’s almost entirely made up of two simple themes, repeated over and over again with very little bridge work in-between. It roughly resembles a 1st movement symphonic work with it’s A & B themes and exposition, development, and recap. (Exposition and Recap emphasizing the “old school” harmonic structure.) However, in some sections there is very little change in the melody except in the tone color which is somewhat like Ravel’s Bolero. Finally, it can simply be classified as a tone poem in Richard Strauss ilk.
Another totally different way to interpret this piece would be to state that it somewhat resembles the life of the universe. It starts out with “The Big Bang” and slowly expands and rarifies as it progresses. An occasional solar flare-up and supernova can be heard but as the ending approaches the melodies fracture into smaller and smaller particles and inevitably fade out into nothingness.
You take your pick of the above intended meanings…whatever works for you! As potpourri as this sounds --with all of its extremes, it actually kind of works as a unified piece…you be the judge.
This a multi library rendering. Strings: Lass and GOS, Woodwinds: GPO and VSL, Brass: Dan Deans and VSL, Percussion: GPO and EWQL, and it features the Garritan Steinway in much of it. I use different libraries for 1st and 2nd chair on almost every instrument for variance.
Anyway, that’s it! Hope some of you like it.
A Musical Incongruity
THE MUSIC THE SCORE
I’ve really come to admire and respect the people here at the Garritan site. I was waiting to get GOS2 for my strings, but since it hasn’t happened yet I broke down and bought LASS. I have to agree with Dan and others that there are too many other libraries being used here to qualify as a Garritan rendering and I’m definitely one of the culprits. So this will be my last orchestral posting at this site, but I will of course continue posting my piano music here, using the incredible Garritan Steinway. There are so many people I consider good friends at this site, I wanted everyone to know that I’m not disappearing, just moving over to the other part of the forum!