Sunday, November 15, 2020

Perenepsis XII: Falling Forth

 Here's the gap-filler to accompany Perenepsis #13, and it's also been finished for about a week. It's probably the most lyrical entry in this series, although I don't think that's exactly what I set out to do here. The subtitle to this one, as with #13, is a reference to the opening idea, this time being a repeated figure of a descending fourth.

This piece starts out as though it's going to be simply a theme and variations, but after four times through the initial 6-bar phrase, there's a contrasting section, then a return to two instances of a four-bar version of the opening theme that is shifted down a fourth (D to A becomes A to E), before a brief ending section that lands on an open A chord with no third in it. The last note before this chord was going to be a C, to strongly suggest A minor, but I changed it to a D to serve as a final "falling forth" to the A; the final chord still has a minor feel to it, but I think the D works better both logically and audibly. 

While there is a good bit of repetition here, no two bars are exactly alike (except at the very end, where the closing chord is held across three bars of 5/4). This one's about a minute longer than #13, but I would say that it's a little less complex, and maybe more relaxing.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Perenepsis XIII: Tapping

 I started this one a couple weeks ago, and was about to title it as #12, then realized that I had started 12 back in June, and I'm not one to change titles once they're given, so 13 comes before 12, but this time the out of order posting isn't arbitrary. #12 is also finished now, but 13 was finished first (about a week ago), so it gets posted first.

Okay, now that the administrative details are out of the way, a little bit about the piece itself. The subtitle will be obvious from the opening. It came together pretty quickly, particularly the overall structure, which is roughly ABACABA, or in more detail, AABBAACCAAABBAA, with a short coda at the end -- yes, there's a third A after the Cs, which will be explained in the next paragraph.

The first of each pair of A's is right hand only, a rhythmic figure without any real melody, with the left hand providing melodic elements in each second (and third) A. The first pair is centered on C, the second on Bb, the first two of the third on D, shifting to G for the third, then back to C for the final pair and then to Bb again for the brief coda. The first set of Bs is centered on Bb and the second on G (following the oddball A section, also in G; also, in addition to being transposed, several of the right hand chords are inverted from their initial appearances in the first B sections). Everything is in 4/4 except for the C section, which switches to 3/4 (although I use off-beat accents to destroy the "three-ness" toward the end) and is in Bb minor, the only part that is unambiguously in a specific major or minor key throughout -- at least, until that final chord before returning to the A theme. I thought about taking this out and making it a separate piece, but decided it fit here and I didn't really feel like turning it into a standalone piece, anyway. 

It's just under two minutes long, but there's a lot going on in this.