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.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cycle of the Spheres Movement 3

The third movement came together very easily. In order to prepare myself for writing this movement, I listened to some youtube performances of taiko drumming and read about its history. In many cultures including Japan, drumming seems to have a spiritual connection and since this movement is called "Resiliency of the Spirit", I decided to build the movement around the characteristics of taiko drumming.

I used tom-toms with heavy sticks in order to come close to the taiko drum sound and if the percussionist has access to a taiko drum, that would be even better.

The movement is divided into three sections. The first is an introduction for drums alone where the "leader" sets the mood for the fast drumming to follow by starting slowly and accelerating. The accelerando is written out by increasing the number of notes per measure until the tremolo in measure 9.

The Vivace begins the second section. This section is an interplay between the three instruments and the saxophone and piano are treated percussively by their notes being repetitive and staccato while still suggesting a primitive melodic line. This section is canonic for the most part, but every time it comes back, there is a slight variation by either varying the lead voice or the distance between entrances. To break up the countrapuntal sections, I use a short call and response idea at measure 29 and later at Measure 76. The saxophone does the call and the piano and percussion the response.

The third section begins at  measure 50 and is a lyrical, hymn/folk-like melody over the contrapuntal "drumming". This section builds in intensity by changing tonal centers but still uses the pentatonic scale.

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