Thursday, February 6, 2014

40.) Shin Do Fu Ji February 5, 2014

"Shin Do Fu Ji" means "one with nature", or "man and nature not two".  I spent a long weekend in Philadelphia at the Strengthening Health Institute studying macrobiotics with Denny Waxman.  It was a very inspiring weekend.  My wife Akiko and I will be spending about one weekend a month there this year, completing the Master Your Health program.  We're really looking forward to it.  Anyway "Shin Do Fu Ji" was one of the things we studied.  It's essentially a benefit that we humans as a group can attain if we live a natural way of life in accordance with the laws of nature.  I thought the phrase made a nice title.  

For this piece, I used Messiaen's second mode (the diminished scale), in a slightly different way.  One of the things I love about mode two is the combinations of triads that can be formed, particularly major triads.  So I made an organized list of all of the major triad combinations, in all the three transpositions:

Then, I decided to number the columns randomly (notated on the bottom).  I used the numbers as a sequence, like a row, freely choosing among the three transpositions.  In this way, I had three choices for each chord, and was free to use any inversion of those chords.  Most often, the melody guided my decisions.  After I had a nice piece of music, I decided to repeat it and ornament it with another layer.  The second layer follows the same formula.  

I think the sound is nice.  These are some of my favorite sounds that Messiaen used himself.  

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