25 March 2019

The Final and True Swiss Skis

Now, about what in yesterday's post I was calling Trio #1, the companion piece to Oxygen Footprint for Ensemble Aubade.
As reported, the first idea which formed was a swinging-ish pentatonic figure, which at first, in "raw" form, I simply heard the flute and viola playing in octaves. At first I thought it might be the opening of and principal material for the piece; but as I began to scribble on paper, I was not getting it into suitable shape.
I did not, however feel that the material was at all unworkable, only that I had not yet discovered how I really wanted to work it.
As with Yesterday's Snow, there was music to which I was listening regularly whose organization and character began to inform my work, even though my piece sounds nothing like the "organizational inspiration," in this case, Miles Davis, In a Silent Way. To break it out roughly,I thought of my trio as "bass" (the harp) "rhythmic tattoo" (the viola, starting the piece out with the repeated thirds which I stole from the paired flutes in my original musical conception of what became Yesterday's Snow). and "insouciant solo" (the flute)

About the harp part: I felt that, rhythmically, I did not want to  make it too regular, but that not-quite-regular (in the spirit of Triadic Memories) would be just right. pitch-wise, I made a bit of a game of leaving the harp in "white-key" setting for much of the piece, generating harmonic interest by the tension between the harp and the single-line instruments, and making only minimal pedal adjustments.
When it seemed to me right to incorporate the dancing, jazzy, pentatonic material, I worked with it much more freely, in terms of imitation, and pitch-level, than I had had in mind originally.
The Opus 161 was substantially finished on 19 March;
I finished the piano version (Opus 161a) on 23 March.

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