Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Puppet Show and Duet

It's warming up and I'm finally able to wake up early to get more quality writing done. I've recently been commissioned to write some music for a Puppet Show based here in Nagoya, it's a cute little show for kids based on the story of the "Three Billy Goats Gruff". We are also talking about a feature length show with a string quartet based on "The Little Mermaid" for adults- we'll see how that goes...

I'm also working on another guitar duet based on the past lives I've supposedly lived. Each movement is based on one life. So far, I've heard of about 4 past lives. They are each interesting in their own right.

The first movement of the piece is based on life as a venetian merchant with a taste for fine wine and spices. It's highly ornamented and in it I want to portray our man gliding down the canals of Venice triumphantly with his treasures secured safely in the boat.

The second movement of the piece is based on life as a buddhist nun living in the mountains of northern Japan in the late 1800's. She had lived a hard life and finally decided to become a nun as most women who had hard lives and no other place to go often did. Near the end of her life she began to dream about being reborn as a man in a place as far away as possible from Japan. In this movement I want to capture the image of her on high ragged cliffs looking off into the vast and desolate ocean.

The third movement is based on life as a native-conflict-resolution-specialist or peace-Man if you will. This movment is very rhythmic, in it I want to depict a sort of imagined ritualistic dance based loosely on Native American-esque rhythms.

The possible intermezzo movement is based on life as a WW2-era artist who loses all of his co-conspirators in art to the war. In this movement I thought I would write a sort of modernist/serialist experimental piece.

In the final movement I wanted to write as if a I were a rocker writing classical music. David Byrne wrote a quartet called "High Life for Nine Instruments." It's a lot of fun and very repetitive in a very rocker writing classical music way. Also the soundtrack for "There Will be Blood" was written by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead it also has the same sort of rocker characteristics and also a rawness that's immediate and accesible. It's a subtle difference but I'd like to try it. I often think about Kurt Cobain's comment that all he was trying to do was imitate a Pixies song- maybe that's what we're all trying to do.

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