Friday, October 23, 2009

Writing Music, Written Music 5

A rehearsal read-through of the last section of the new piece, Weavers of Light. There are still a few corrections to be made in the final notation, but this gives a sense of the last main section of the piece. This is a recording of a read-through in which the piano is playing the vocal parts. That's how you learn parts in choral rehearsals: with the piano playing along. Eventually, the piano plays its own part. This is all part of the choral learning procedure.

Partial rehearsal recording: Weavers of Light    

Here's a sample section of the (uncorrected) score for the last section. Three contiguous pages, at the climax of the music. THis is where the long build-up crests, before fading away again to nothing. You can hear it in the rehearsal recording about a minute from the end.

(Click on any of the above thumbnails for a larger image of the page.)

Note how the weaving-together of the various musical strands and texts reaches a sort of climax here, as well. This is also where the accompaniment instruments go more poly-modal, and more poly-chordal.

Labels: , , ,


Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

I finally got round to giving this a good listen to. I'm not sure what I was expecting, especially when you chuck terms like poly-modal, and more poly-chordal into the mix – maybe something like Ligeti or Messiaen – but the work was much more open, tonal and reminiscent of Estonian composers like Tormis, not at all crowded. I look forward to seeing how it develops.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Well, most of the polychordal stuff is in the accompaniment and instrumental parts. The chorus holds the main mode, while the instruments get further away. So this was just the voice parts, which are going to be in the mode, mostly.

Messiaen-like, perhaps, but actually more like Toshiro Mayuzumi's "Mandala Symphony" or "Nirvana Symphony." Mayuzumi was influenced by Messiaen, as was that entire generation of Japanese composers (incl. Takemitsu, et al.), so maybe there's a connection there.

I did strive to keep the voicings open, especially in the voice parts. This is after all written for a non-professional chorus, so you can only push them so far.

I look forward to seeing how it comes out, too. Not that many rehearsals left, after all.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

I'm familiar with Mayuzumi's Nirvana Symphony. I had a listen to it last night and I suppose I can see the connections. I kept picking up bits of Stravinsky and and the vocals reminded me of the Russian Orthodox Znamenny Chant which yours most certainly doesn't. Look forward to seeing what associations I get from the final piece.

5:47 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

The chant in the Mayuzumi is actually purely Japanese, based on shomyo, or Zen temple chant styles. I suppose a Stravinsky influence in conceivable, but I don't really hear it in Mayuzumi. Unless of course it's an influence from the sort of things that Messiaen and Stravinsky had in common, i.e. polytonality and chord-clusters.

If there's a coincidence, I suppose it's because sacred chanting all around the world tends to eventually fall into some similar patterns, since it has many of the purposes no matter what the local religious context is.

For Znamenny chant, I always think of Rachmaninoff's Vespers, Op. 37, which is explicitly based on that style of chant, at least in several of the movements if not the whole work.

11:58 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home