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I have created this site in order to provide performers, listeners and composers with a description of a composer's experiences with the creative process. The posts will provide discussions of the inspirations, challenges, and successes of a composer from the inception of the piece to the culmination in performance. I will provide a link to where you can see and hear the works in progress. Comments and questions are always welcomed. They will not posted unless you grant me permission.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sixth Movement

Before talking about movement 6, I thought I'd talk about my title for movement 5. This whole experience with titles is unusual for me as I often have titles before I compose the music. Since I am using a previous composition that did not have movement titles as the basis of this composition, I have the challenge of coming up with titles after the music is written. When listening to the 5th movement again this morning, the use of imitation triggered an image of a mime mirroring a person's actions in a humorous manner. Then the image of Charlie Chaplin came to mind and I decided to name the movement after him. I think that Charlie Chaplin represents our need to laugh and therefore he is a microcosm of the playful side of human nature. Sometimes he is witty and other times he is pure slapstick and I think there are elements of both in this movement.

I originally thought that movement 6 would be playful, but after adding the piano part, I felt that this movement reminds me of a storm that is constant in its relentlessness and that has peaks of activity. After the storm leaves, all seems peaceful and quiet again. I have called this movement Tempest, being a microcosm of the fickleness of nature. Syncopation plays an important role in the saxophone part so I built on that idea for the piano. The first three measures introduce the hemiola rhythm in the right hand of the piano while the left hand mirrors the saxophone part. The roles are reversed in measures 4 & 5 and then reversed back again in measures 6 & 7. The accompaniment becomes more sparse in measures 9-13 as it just fills in during rests. I use the interval of the 4th a lot for the harmony although once again, it is not chord progressions that I am after, rather just coloristic sounds. Measure 14 is one of the climaxes of the movement and arpeggiated 16th notes are used at this point. The accompaniment is like the beginning in measures 16-22. Measure 23 begins a 4 measure imitation of the saxophone line but a contrary motion bass line is added in the piano part. Measures 26-30 are added measures where I use material from 16-20 but the hands of the piano and the saxophone have different roles than the previous statement. The last two measures represent the fickleness of the calm after the storm.

I work in concert pitch, but the score I am posting has the saxophone part transposed.

To see and hear what is discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/microcosmsblog.html

Dr. B

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