For the second movement, "Ashes to Ashes", I used the same two pentatonic scales for consistency of harmonic language, but I did not use these scales in a polytonal manner like in the first movement. Since I was looking for a much more mellow sound, there is a larger emphasis on harmony in this movement. To create the tonal interest, I would often slide step from one pentatonic scale to the other. I also was looking for other ways to create tonal interest and found myself attracted to a transposition of the CDEAG pentatonic scale to the FAGCD pentatonic scale. This simple transposition created one new note, F instead of E, and when these scales are used in close juxtaposition, new harmony results as in measures 30 and 31. I intend to explore this transposition and others further in the third movement.
The percussion colors I chose are ocean drum, triangle and tom-toms. The tom-toms are only used in measures 26 and 28, at the climax of this movement. They serve as a prelude to the last movement where they will play a larger role. My intent is to have them sound like Haiku drums.
I also found myself attracted to passages of even eighth notes in this movement. The evenness of the rhythms give the movement a meditative quality.
The form of this movement is ABCC'A' and the sections correspond with the rehearsal numbers. The opening and ending sections are mournful with the B and C sections expressing hope.
To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/cycle_of_the_spheres_blog.html. You will be viewing the playback file which is a transposed score, but has notation inaccuracies to accomplish a more realistic playback.The playback also uses MIDI instruments on your computer that has a different balance and playback than the sampled sounds of the software. For the most accurate playback, listen to the mp3 file.
As always, your comments are appreciated.