Saturday, May 9, 2009

Axe Grinder

In keeping with my previous theme of resurrecting old pieces, here is a "new" old piece.

It was a school project in Nickitas Demos's Composition Seminar at Georgia State (I don't remember exactly when, but I'm going to guess Spring 2006). I was to write a piece 'in the style of Zack Browning." I tried to emulate his high-energy, rock-influenced style, and use some of his compositional ideas, notably the Golden Section and magic squares.

This piece has an ABA form, with the B section beginning at the negative Golden Mean (38.2% through the piece) and ending at the Golden Mean (61.8% through the piece). The piece is about 3 minutes, so the B section lasts from 1:09 to 1:51.

Magic Squares are tables in which each row, column, and diagonal have the same sum. I used a 4x4 square for the A section and a 3x3 for the B section. There are 4 "voices" in the original piece - trumpet, trombone, and 2 voices in the "tape." In the new version, the voices are guitar, bass, keyboard, and drums.

Each row in the square represents one voice. The numbers in each square told me how many bars each voice would play one of four patterns (one of which was silence). After that particular number of bars, the voice would switch to another pattern. Thus, there are repeating patterns, sometimes unique to each voice, sometimes in unison or in canon.

Listen (MIDI version)

No comments: