Friday, May 24, 2013
3.) Corps sans gluten du Christ (May 23, 2013)
This piece sounds a little more like Messiaen. After working through some different ideas and failing, I half-heartedly decided to allow this to happen. Again it's not my intention to recreate Messiaen's music, but I think some imitation is acceptable, especially for a project such as this.
The piece exclusively uses the third transposition of Messiaen's third mode, which is very enjoyable. On a worksheet I extracted many commonly used chords; major triads, minor triads, many varieties of seventh chords, and fourth structures. What's remarkable is how these common chords relate to each other within this scale. I enjoyed writing combinations of chords. But it's interesting that although I only used this mode, many of the chords do not sound Messiaenic. Some of them really do, others send a red flag up: This isn't Messiaen.
Also, in reading The Technique of My Music Language, I've learned a lot about Messiaen's melodic choices. There is a chapter on melodic cadence. In it he explains how the descending tritone and descending sixth are natural and useful. I was not hearing these intervals much as I composed this piece, but the phrases in which I used them do sound more like Messiaen's phrases. And I've noticed in listening to his music how often these intervals, especially the tritone, are used melodically.
For my improvisation I chose to stick with the same scale, which was not yet easy. Hopefully throughout the course of the project, it will become easier and easier to improvise with the modes of limited transposition.
Last weekend I played a jazz church service with some friends of mine. On the program it said that for communion the pastor's station will be gluten-free. I found this interesting. This was not a catholic church, but having been raised catholic, I couldn't help pondering the situation. It becomes a little funny when you consider the transubstantiation idea. So I thought since my piece kind of sounded like Messiaen on a off day, I could use a title that is a poor imitation of his also.