Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Composing Spotlight: Labyrinth

Movement II. Determination

Picking up immediately where the first movement left off, the second movement was characterized by a regular beat, and motivated, driving melodic lines. Although I didn't use classical key signatures in this work, the tonal center between movement I and II fell from a D to a Db, which was intended to signify motion in unexpected directions through this labyrinth.

The first melodic line in this section (once again doubled between sax and violins, as dictated by Rob Kelley's favourite joke) is derived from the half-whole-half step motive. It's written in a triple meter (12/8), because classical musicians often have trouble swinging merely from the presence of the word "Swing", and because I would just end up inserting a bunch of triplets anyhow.

After two statements of the melody, the woodwinds engage in "dicking around" for a bit, representing distractions from the primary goal of solving the labyrinth -- this material is spun out more in later movements. The theme of the "adversary" is briefly restated in a single measure here as well (around 1:00 on the MP3 excerpt), derived from the 5/4 measure at the end of the Movement I theme.

Next comes a restatement of the original Movement I theme by the trumpet. The motor drops out from under the end of this melody, leading us to a more static-feeling third movement.

    Listen to the second movement (1:04 MP3)

Jump to Movement: I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX

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