Friday, May 10, 2013

1.) Scarebird (May 7, 2013)

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The first Messiaen piece I ever seriously checked out was the Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps [The Quartet for the End of Time].  It's a beautiful piece.  The sixth movement Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes [Dance of Fury, for the Seven Trumpets], features the whole quartet playing in unison.   The rhythm of that movement jumps out to a jazz musician.  I think it was a good place to start.

Scarebird mimics the orchestration of Danse de la fureur, but not necessarily the rhythm.  It features all three transpositions of the diminished scale, arranged in a slightly altered twelve bar blues form.  The idea came in a flash.  It seemed natural to combine the three dimished scales with the blues form.

The title refers to a garden pest prevention technique that I found on the internet.  Birds were eating my pea seedlings faster than they could grow.  Someone suggested hanging some CDs in the area which dangle and blow in the breeze and supposedly scare the birds away.  I installed my scarebirds on Tuesday morning.  It's to early to say if they've been effective, but I'm feeling optimistic about it.

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