Friday, January 3, 2014

34.) Old Aristocracy January 2, 2014


Welcome to 2014.  I didn't compose last week because of the holidays.  One of these weeks I'll manage to get two pieces done.  52 is the goal, and I'm committed to getting there.

Old Aristocracy was composed rather quickly.  The idea kind of came bursting forth.  Later I realized that the idea was from Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# minor, which I had listened to earlier in the week.  Do a comparison listening, and you can't miss the similarity.  Ironically, I've never been a huge Rachmaninoff fan.  To me his music has a "more is more" kind of flavor, and I'm usually drawn to the "less is more" stuff.  I don't deny his importance, but the overstated nature of his music is usually not my taste.  I'm sure he's got understated stuff is well....  I must admit though that his Prelude is sticking with me, especially since I – subconsciously at first – spun his idea into a piece.

Also ironically, I would have to say that Messiaen is also somewhat of a "more is more" composer.  Again there are exceptions to that statement, but a lot of his stuff is big and pretty flashy.  However I'm not bothered by it in his music because it almost always sounds like radiant light or something, and his modes have such a unique and fascinating flavor.  His music arouses my curiosity.

Anyway, Old Aristocracy uses two transpositions of the octatonic scale.  The upper staff chords are constructed of one, and the lower staff bass notes of another.  After composing with these modes for thirty-four weeks now, they are starting to come out more naturally, which is nice.  It was enjoyable to play kind of big and flashy on this recording.

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