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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 23, 2012

Poetics Movement 6

The last movement of Poetics is inspired by the poetic form Gogyohku, a Japanese poem that does not have a restricted syllable count and is used to record a fleeting moment.

Nighttime Tragedy

Sy Brandon ©2011 Sy Brandon

Sirens screech like banshees
Split the silence of the night
In bed I pray
For the dead
And for those that survive.

My music for this movement is a little over three minutes in length, much longer than the poem. I tried to capture the two contrasting parts of the poem, first the tragedy itself and then my feelings while lying in bed. Both of these take time to unfold musically.

The sirens are represented by the glissandi in the viola. Unfortunately the artificial playback of these glissandi does not capture the sound I'm hearing but it will give the listener an approximate idea. The double bass line captures the anxiety of the crisis through diminished sounds and tremolos. Measures 10-13, with it's rhythmic intensity and chromatic harmony, represents EMTs rushing to the rescue.  These two ideas alternate frequently until M 38, where a third sound, the horn of a fire engine (diminished 5th double stops in the double bass) enters. This section ends with the two instruments doing the fire engine horn followed by a low tremolo in the double bass (m. 51-54).

M. 55-76 serves as a transition to the prayer section by a gradually slowing descending line punctuated by pizzicato heartbeats. The prayer goes from M 77-end and is hymn-like in design.

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.

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