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Friday, September 1, 2017

Lyraka and the "Serial Vignette" Approach to Composition, Pt. 1

ter 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.