Thursday, 4 August 2011

Eleven Gifts in depth, part 2: a

Back in 2007, when I wrote Big Robot, Little Robot, I felt I could tackle the challenge to write a full, three movement piano sonata. The first movement would be the the first track from that album, Scary, and the two remaining movements would be entirely new. This never came to fruition, but I did write the main theme for the third movement. It remained shelved for years, until I came up with the Eleven Gifts project.

The theme never left my head, so recovering it was quite easy, and it was also easy to find the person to attribute it to. The waltzing, partly-joyful-partly-whimsical feel was exactly what I wanted. The already written material actually ends at the full-tone descending scale -- everything from that point on was newly written. It was actually sort of improvised: I intended to keep the waltzing rhythm, but add those tonality shifts and crazy dissonances that I used in Scary. The result satisfied me: it sounds dense, fast, slapstick, and when an actual melody seems to settle in, it's quickly broken and discarded. That's the main idea.

This was one of the easiest song-person matches, in fact -- not only because I already had the theme, but because it was a perfect match. I like it quite a lot, and I guess the fact that the theme ended up here means that the "sonata" idea was never going to work anyway.

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