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Short Composition Proposal

gauraamtc on April 10, 2013 14:32

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    Henry Van Dyke once wrote of a disappearing ship at his side on the seashore, “She hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other”. I would like to juxtapose field recordings with intricate instrumentation to recreate the sentiment of loss in this scene described by Van Dyke in my “Short Composition”. By hybridizing human sentiment and nature, I will allow the atmospheric sounds and melody lines to sonically evolve by adopting different features from each other.

    Inspired by the seamless merging of environmental sounds with her piano playing, one of the sources I draw inspiration from is my Music and Technology Essay source, Fiona Apple. I intend to incorporate atmospheric layers to superimpose these sounds organically. I will invest a couple days using my Sony ICD-PX312 Digital Flash Voice Recorder to collect snatches of sounds that pique my interest. An example of the kind of effect I want to achieve with my recording can be heard within the first 10 seconds of this track. Taken from the song, “Periphery”, I admire the ingenuity of this clip and how it is used to create rhythm. However, I am looking at her sound for its organic quality; I do not specifically aim to use this sound as a rhythmical base for the piece.

    I will then experiment with the melody line on the piano and bouzouki to find a matching sentiment to my recording. Aesthetically speaking, I want the melody line to hold as much weight as it does in “Not About Love” (cited from 0:48-1:06 in this example). However, I want to pan out the melody and sound clips in a way the listener is reeled into the mechanics of the song. I cite Pete Swanson’s cosmic sound ( in “College View” and Fatôma’s meticulously placed incorporation of ambient sounds in “Rosemary’s Baby” (0:11-48) as examples and sources of inspiration for this desired effect.

    I will not be committing this piece to the structure of a conventional verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge format, especially since the 3:00 limit would act as a constraint. I want this piece to be heard in the same way an expressionist painting would be viewed: not by the structure but more so by the conjunction of atmosphere and sentiment. For the ending, I am hoping to achieve some kind of an effect, both sonically and creatively, that will allow the piece to linger and resonate within the listener.

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