Sunday, September 26, 2010

flute melodies taking shape

This week I focused on writing the flute part. I am about halfway done with the draft. My initial sketch is just some rhythms and basic contours on blank paper, and I have been trying out different pitches and writing them in. After this I started putting the melodies in Sibelius to see how they sound (mainly for the microtonal stuff).

After trying to come up with some kind of quarter-tone pitch scheme, I decided that this piece will mainly focus on the usual 12 semitones, with quarter tone inflections. I am basing my pitches on a 2-octave 12-tone set, the same as what I used in my piano piece Through the Canopy.

Canopy's row begins on C#, and I transposed it up a fifth to G# for this piece. Despite being based on a row, the work is very centered around E, due to my drone idea. I chose E because the Kingma alto flute can easily do any kind of trill there (written A). B (written E) has the same ease-of-trilling property, but I wanted to be able to play some notes below the drone pitch, yet still have the drone pitch be low in the flute's range.

Here is an mp3 of the MIDI mockup I am making as I compose. It is about 3 minutes, so we're about halfway through. There are a lot of pitch-bends that you won't hear, and the trills are all semitone, but you can get a sense of what I'm going for.

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