Monday, December 26, 2011

Music Update

After a short Christmas break I'm back to work on music. Initially the first track was "Pain" and the second a widespread dreamscape, like a door to a false world opening. This was a wide brassy track, a bit like the music at the start of Bladerunner. That was called Wide Open. "Pain" was initially intended to be white noise, filtered in different ways, but it was too ugly and it was too slow and formless to contrast it with something else. Pace would have killed the emotion. Wide Open was expanded and some dischordant stabs at the start were added, which mirrored in pain the pleasurable ending to the last track of this first movement, a track about a love dream. A that point I'd already decided to have three approximate sections or movements; each divided into sub-tracks that explore related musical and emotional themes. The first was pain or lovelessness, the second was loneliness and the divine, and the third simply love, the joyous climax. The music in Wide Open was simple, and a play on the main loneliness theme in the final track of the second movement, as well as the climax to the first. However it was too short. I've now expanded it a bit but feel that this is too simple. I want more structure; more relationship between tracks and more depth, but at the same time I don't want to compromise the feeling or musical integrity. Complexity of structure is needed but I can't have complexity of form because these early sections must convey emptiness. That is my challenge. Musically, this is no "classical" piece but compared to most of the "progressive" music of the 1970's it sounds like it. It's perhaps closest to Vangellis, but I want to avoid regular rhythms and drums, and the boring simplistic tunes that have filled electronic music since about 1970 when it was essentially invented. As I stand, Wide Open is the first track. This leads into, at least, a simple tune for harpsichord called Sunset and the dream tune, which is working well. Wide Open needs expansion and relation to the other parts of the movement. For the second part I've written a lonely piano sonata that climbs invisibly through three semitones. This makes some aspects of the writing complex because key changes work best when close, for drama, adding colour and "space", but when they shift over quite a long period they don't seem to happen, yet I've got all of the complexity of writing in three different keys. This isn't at all finished, so I'm going to try and use this very flavour to play all parts and all keys at once to deliberately create angst at the end as we enter a track called "Loneliness and Divine Love". I'm not sure if this section will be long enough. The third movement looks like two tracks at the moment. I wrote the main love theme a few weeks ago and on the 23rd sequenced it and it all worked beautifully. Three melodies play at once and work, which makes a pleasant change. The climax at least will be good enough for me. A smaller tune will lead into it like a hot snowflake falling onto a frozen lake and melting a hole, seeping and sinking down to the liquid heart beneath. None of the tracks are completely finished but all are started. I'm making changes to add structure and unity in ways that should be unconscious. I want to finish this in a few days but if it takes a few months so be it. I know this probably isn't very interesting to read at the moment but I wanted to get my thoughts down and perhaps one day, when you have heard the music, understanding the process will add something to it.

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