Saturday, January 25, 2014

38.) Wintering January 23, 2014


Wintering utilizes all four transpositions of Messiaen's third mode.  This structure was not predetermined when I began.  I decided to begin in one transposition of the mode, and when I got to the fifth measure, I was really hearing an F in the melody, which was not available to me in the mode I was using.  So I had to make a decision, do I stay in the transposition, or modulate so I can use an F, and I chose to modulate.   Then it made sense to work through the other transpositions of the mode in the same way.  This sort of decision making happens quite often.  A natural desire gives way to a structure, as I work.  This piece ended up with a quite a lot of dominant seventh chords.  Interestingly, just a few years ago I wouldn't have chosen them.  Now I'm ready for them I guess - they remind me of Debussy, one of my favorite composers.  To my ears Messiaen is an extension and expansion of Debussy.    

We have a real winter happening here this year.  I'm into it.  It keeps us humble.  

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