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Friday, December 1, 2017

John Lennon Imagine

I feel, as we near the thirty fifth anniversary since this great composer was taken away from us, that the message of this song, perhaps his non plus ultra, more than deserves being reinforced. From a post I made on this blog in October, 2013:
"To me, with this song John brought out the things that upon reflection make life worth living, those things that are beyond cultural or temporal aesthete in terms of archetypal beauty.

I myself truly believe that John's visions of a brotherhood of man, of everyone working together, feeding and sheltering and not unduly judging others can be made a reality. And if that makes me a hopeless romantic, an insufferable idealist, so be it.

The centuries have proven that man is capable of bringing what's inside out into the real world. The seemingly supernatural advances in technology are a great example of the formidable powers of men and women working together. I think we should all get together and work toward a common goal of no more wars, no more killing people, no more judging.

Reach within, everybody. It all starts with us...and our imaginations.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Lyraka's "Gnashing" with Opera Vocalists

    On this version of "Gnashing" we worked with opera singers Nichole (Soprano) and Brian (Tenor). Note the polytonality of the composition, with hyper-compressed harmonic layers superimposed over the original. Here the multi-layering (in the form of manifold, clashing tones) serves to emphasize the rhythm, subtly propelling the piece into a dirge.




Friday, September 1, 2017

The Serial Vignette Approach to Composition

After recently reviewing my work of the past eleven years, I've come to realize that I'd quasi-inadvertently invented a musical form that is the product of what I call Serial Vignette Composition. That type of writing was already evident on Lyraka Volume 1 ("Palace Guard", "Errandia", "Neires"), and since then I have refined its execution a great deal, coming to a strikingly effective...let's say, personality quirk. This form of stream-of-conscious, almost film cue-esque writing has never been as thoroughly explored as in my music.

Please bear with me for a mercifully brief autobiographical aside.

When I was young, my parents were huge movie buffs, and we regularly went to cinemas to indulge. Movies were a big part of my life since I was young, and I came to love them very much. I was a fan of  Coppola, Kubrick, and Scorsese, and during the 90s Quentin Tarantino. In regard to Tarantino, I'll never forget watching the layout of his films ("Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill" for just two instances) and feeling as though I'd found a creative soul mate. The way I diverge from his method is by not being as ruled by the movie form as he (understandably) wa$. To elucidate, Tarantino's films led to satisfying conclusions/resolutions, despite the odd internal sequencing, while my music tends to mirror more the internal experience by often leaving conflicts unresolved, or radically resolved to (say), a rare (and/or seemingly random) chord or sudden halt, explosion...MacGuffin. Those last mentioned attributes were especially striking to me when I started studying the films of Alfred Hitchcock and the repertoire of his greatest collaborator, maestro Bernard Herrmann, because such irresolution is part and parcel of their art as well (even more fun: I didn't even discover Vertigo until after I turned 50 lol! It was like I had a couple of artist friends all this time and never knew it! :). Watch the movie, pay close attention to the score, and you'll understand better what I mean.)

This style of composition could be seen as either an oblivious concession to and/or more "artistic" example of of the ADD (i.e. popular) culture we live in, but it originally stems more from my own,  vignette-laden inner experience. To be more specific, I often reflect on experiences in a cinematic way, and this is why much of my music sounds storyboard-ready.