piano

The fixed media component

I was almost done with the fixed media component a few hours ago. I thought that it just needed something small but textural. One of the pianos in my office is currently tuned to Ben Johnston's scale from his Suite for Microtonal Piano, and I had sketched two little four-dyad motives a while back (this can be seen below in the Soundcloud link, though partially obscured). I thought I'd record myself playing those and work them into the texture somehow.

To see what this would sound like with the rest of the mix, I added two tracks to my Logic session and looped each file. I had recorded the second line twice, so I added a third track and looped both recordings of the second line, which were not synchronized. I put a little flanger and compression on them and found that this texture held my interest for five for six minutes. Probably self-indulgent, but I hate to use something that I like for a shorter time or a less central role than the material deserves. So now the dilemma is this. Does this piano bit complement what I already have? Or does it overwhelm what I'm trying to do? Tonally it works with the other audio (all of which are bird songs). Let me think about it.

Seventh Seal text

I'm working on a song now for mezzo soprano, piano, and interactive computer music. The initial inspiration--which often has little to do with the final product--is the Ingmar Bergman film The Seventh Seal. The text is taken from Revelation 8:1-2.

And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

I decided, however, to use Greek text for a couple of reasons. I prefer the original text whenever possible. Of course this often limits the intelligibility for the audience, but in this case that's a good thing. The book of Revelation is highly charged and interpreted in a variety of ways, and I don't want that overshadowing the other themes at work here. The non-English text also mirrors, for me, the Swedish text of the film, which sounds like carefully designed sound art punctuating long silences. Here is the Greek text:

Και οταν ηνοιξεν την σφραγιδα την εβδομην, εγενετο σιγη εν τω ουρανω ως ημiωριον

Και ειδον τους επτα αγγελους οι ενωπιον του θεοu εστηκασιν, και εδοθησαν αυτοις επτα σαλπιγγες.

 

And here's the film if you're interested.

©2017 Joshua Harris