Wednesday, November 27, 2013

29.) Temperance November 27, 2013


Upon looking for inspiration, I listened to a little of Messiaen's organ music.  In fact, I heard about 30 seconds of his Prélude pour orgue and that was enough to send me off.  The stuff is so great.  I took some of the opening chords, analyzed them, and concluded that they were derived from two transpositions of mode two.  So, I decided to do the same in my piece.

It started out with definite shifts between the two modes, the chords are of one or the other.  But as I worked on the melody, I found that the notes of one of the modes sounded irresistible over the chords of the other, and I indulged.  So the piece is a progression from shifting modes to simultaneous modes.  I have to admit I love that sound.

Today I had the day off from teaching, so I was able to work on this piece this afternoon - a different time than usual.  It's a dark rainy day today as I was yesterday, and I found myself crabby and barely able to stay awake while making the score.  After I finished, I had to title the piece so I could save it, which is most often when the title is added.  I was trying to think of a word to describe light protruding from the gloom, because I find these Messiaen chords so illuminating.  But nothing was coming.  Then in a flash I realized that I was crabby and tired because I over ate, and was reminded of Ben Franklin's Virtues that I have recently read about in his Autobiography.  I highly recommend that book.  Anyway, Temperance is the first of the virtues, which are followed in order.  Franklin says one must master Temperance before moving onto Silence, etc.  His description for Temperance reads, "Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation."  So here I was feeling the effects of ignoring the first virtue.  And how fitting that this is the day before Thanksgiving, when most Americans will ignore it as well.  I will make a valiant attempt to not forget Ben Franklin's first virtue tomorrow.  I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.  I'm thankful that you've checked out this project.

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