Thursday, 4 August 2011

Eleven Gifts in depth, part 1: J

I don't know if I have made myself clear enough in the places where I have published Eleven Gifts, but in case you didn't notice, each piece in this cycle is dedicated to a person. The lower case pieces are in alphabetical order, but this one sticks out for a particular reason.

This piece wasn't the first one to be conceived, though. Far from it: some of these pieces are actually reworkings of songs I've written from 5 to 10 years ago, while many are new compositions. This is an entirely new composition, and the idea struck me quite quickly.

I was afraid that the sound of it was too "menacing" or terrifying to associate to the person it represents. The idea isn't to be menacing at all: my intention was to represent a very strong presence and a forwards motion, a very moving and powerful force. The very fast one-note ostinato on the left hand was a pretty obvious choice, and I'm a bit sad that I couldn't find a piano sample that made it sound as good as I wanted, but it still delivers. The odd rhythm and staccato chords are intended to grab your attention and keep you focused on it, but the ending unveils a tender and heartwarming feel that leaves your spirit positive and lifted. That's pretty much exactly what this person is all about.

The rhythm was one of those things that hit me all at once, and I had to keep replaying it in my head so I wouldn't forget it. It was too good to let it pass. Once I got to write it down, it was all a matter to find the right chords, which wasn't too hard. The softer middle portion was written entirely on-the-spot, and the finale just grew out of it. It was surprisingly easy to write this track, which was extremely satisfying: it was expecting quite a challenge from it. But that's art: the challenges sometimes are exactly where you didn't expect any.

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