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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.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Poetics Movement 4

After about  month of running back and forth to rehearsals and performances of my "Arizona Centennial Overture" in honor of Arizona's Centennial, things are calming down again. During that time, I managed to work on and complete the 4th movement of Poetics. The influence for this movement is the bantu poetic form.

The bantu originated from Swahili speakers therefore incorporating the idea of call and response. The stanzas are couplets where the first line is more metaphorical and the second line more concrete. Since I wanted this movement to be at a fast tempo and to contain a lot of energy, I wrote a bantu about competition.

Competition Bantu

©2012 Sy Brandon

The hope of a new season
Unfailing optimism

The return of the team core

Those with promise not yet realized
Freshman class

Unexpected talent discovered

Who will stay and who will go?

Working on things you already know so you don’t forget them

The strong and weak make music together

A chance to wow the hometown crowd
Opening Day

A grueling test of endurance, talent and fortitude
The season

The only time you root for other teams
The standings

The Darwinian Principle: Survival of the fittest
The playoffs

A tug of war where dreams are realized or shattered
The championship

A chance to say, “There’s always next year”
The loosing clubhouse

A fleeting moment of glory before the need to prove oneself again

Call and response between each instrument permeates this movement with alternations of which instrument is the leading voice. M. 1-15 reflects the first stanza and I used a lot of rising lines to reflect hope and optimism. M. 16-36 represents reunion through the use of double stops. M. 37-56 represent the next two stanzas where promise (triplet figures) and surprise (wide intervals) are the themes.

M. 56 & 57 serve as a transition to a slower tempo. M. 58-71 create anxiety through pizzicato and tremolos. M. 72-88 connotate drill, through repetitive triplets, and fundamentals, through descending fifths. This section concludes with M. 89-106 where downbeats and afterbeats represent working together with rhythm. 

M. 107-109 serves as a transition back to the original tempo. My ears were shouting at me to return to the opening material and not introduce any more new ideas. As I read over the poem, I realized that the emotions of stanzas 8-12 are similar to the emotions of the first four stanzas, so returning to the opening material made sense poetically as well as musically. The last two stanzas are reflected from M. 156-end.

I am now using flip pdf technology for the musical examples that go along with my posts. It uses Flash Player that most browsers come with. You will be hearing an mp3 of sampled sounds playing the music and you will see the score at the same time. You will need to turn the pages by clicking on the arrows at the appropriate time. To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/poetics_blog.html.

As always, your comments are appreciated.

Dr. B

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