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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.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Lexicon No. 1 - 3rd Movement - Hyperbole

This the third movement of four of a composition for SATB Saxophone Quartet and Piano. It is commissioned by Louis Sinoff. I am calling the composition Lexicon No. 1 because each movement will be a musical definition of an interesting word. I envision that there will be many more "Lexicon" compositions in my future.

The word for the third movement is Hyperbole. Its definition is "exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally."The first thing that came to mind in this election year is a political debate. In the composition I tried to exaggerate dynamics, articulation, instrumentation, and motifs. I think of this movement as having free form as the musical ideas are used throughout. There is a slight shift of mood measure 13 and again at measure 36, but in my mind, the contrast is not sufficient for me to call these a B section.

Here is a list of the motifs that are used and what they represent in my mind:

Accented dotted quarter and eighth note - When FF - hammering when P - exhaustion
Slurred 16th notes - issues being glossed over
Triplet chords - the moderator trying to bring the debate under control
Syncopated staccato eighths - scare tactics
Even eighth note melody - Hopeful audience

After composing this movement, I decided to create a poem to go along with it. Here it is:

Raised Voices spout rhetoric
While fists pound the podium
Volume and theatrics
Obscure the issues

Quiet responses of denial
Go unheard
Slurring meanings with
Distorted facts

Staccato utterances cut
Like faraway gunshots
Inciting fear
Instead of reason

A melodic theme resonates
Striking a chord with
An audience of voters
Grasping at straws for optimism

Hyperbole shields voters
From the democratic process
And antiquated laws insulate
Citizens from making a direct choice

Politicians play
With those who pay while
Bickering and inaction is
The rule in Washington

A cloudy future hovers
Over a divided nation
Will a leader emerge with healing powers
From the debris of hyperbole

Below is the transposed score and sampled sounds in video format. Your comments are always welcomed.

Dr. B

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