Welcome to my blog

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.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cycle of the Spheres Movement 2

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.

Dr. B

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