Monday, November 27, 2006

Two Sample MP3's from my Upcoming CD

If you go to my .Mac Download page here there are two MP3's at the top of the page which are tracks 21 and 23 respectively from the CD. These tracks are raw: I have not scrubbed the noise from the heads and tails yet, but that is all the editing I plan to do. I'm not really a good enough guitarist to worry about getting perfect performances, so I just don't mind if there is a buzz, squeek, or dropped note here or there. You have to pick your fights carefully in music, and I can afford to be a perfectionist about my composing, but not my playing: I simply don't have the time or inclination to be enslaved to scale and metronome work. I'd rather write or study.

The bonus is, this is exactly how I sound live: All I'm doing for this CD is playing the pieces down to half speed with the metronome, and then I record three takes. The take I like the best gets on the CD regardless of whether it is a great performance or not.

These tracks are from the E Major suite, which is quite late in the set, so there a lot of effects. The set starts with a fairly dry sound and builds from there. Track 21 is a Figuration Prelude, and is in a five voice texture and 12/8 time. It's modulatory and structural plan is like so:

A: E Major
B: C-sharp Minor
C & D: E Major
E: Whole Tone/Octatonic Episode

A': E Minor
B': C Major
C' & D': E Minor
E': Whole Tone/Octatonic Episode

Codetta: E Major

The harmony is very dissonant, but in a (hopefully) beautiful or awesome sense. Those harmonies are also extremely difficult to play: I jokingly call these preludes "Hard Chord Music" around my students.

Track 23 is an Axial Study: B-Axis Study in E Major. The device used in this piece is the repeated open B-string of the guitar between the notes of the melody. The texture is basically traditional two part counterpoint, whith the open B added as an incipient third voice (Basically a drone). The form is A, A', B, C, A" with the B section being an interlude, and the C being the traditional sequential section. It goes as high as F-sharp and is quite a challenge to play. None of these axial studies modulate.

Keep in mind that these are pieces I wrote back in the 90's and this project is a warm up to the second CD of new stuff I've written since I did the first demo of this back in 2000.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Just a Little Longer

I'm busy recording a CD and my book is with the editor now.