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Mwah! Rough version of "Carbon"?

Josef Thomas Moher on March 03, 2013 05:25

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A piece I have been working on for about two weeks now in my "spare time".

This is an extremely rough version of the piece so far, but I wanted to share it with you, my friends, just because. Oh, and it's fun to share what my writing process is like.

I initially called it "Mwah?" just because I wasn't sure what to call it, so it just became a shorthand of "All of my what?". I am playing with the idea of calling it "Carbon" though I am not exactly sure why. I mean, there are reasons why, but of course I am not yet sure if it fits.

When the piece is finished, I will upload more MIDI and an explanation of the inspiration (inspiration is fun!) and what the piece is "about".

The piece is scored for: Drumset, Marimba, Bass Marimba, Vibraphone, and Glockenspiel. I plan on opting in as a composer's note that any of the melodic voices can be doubled at the performer's discretion. I like this idea because right now it is lightly scored for ensembles with limited equipment, but can easily be made bigger for bigger ensembles. I am also deliberating about splitting the drumset part up into multiple auxiliary parts.

This is still very rough and I want to make a number of changes. Among these are:

1) Change the intro. What I have right now is okay for a stand-in, but it gives too much of the rhythmic motive away too quickly. I also don't like the barebones harmony I shoved in there in the treble marimba before the first 3/4 bar. When the piece is done, the intro will likely be completely different.

2) Flesh out the Bass Marimba part, especially in the second half of the B section and at the end.

3) Decide on a key change to stick with. The piece begins in A minor and in the 14/16 measures moves up and from Am through Em, and Bm. Then it moves back into Am for the second half of the B section (which is in 10/16) before once again modulating to Bm. Then the A section recapitulates but I have experimented with a number of keys. I at first kept it in Bm, but I did not like that in lieu of the end of the B section. Then I moved it back to Am and I kind of liked the darker feel of moving back down to it from Bm. But then I added some measures to the B section (this is when I added the 14/16 bars) and they changed the feel of the B section. I thought about and briefly tried modulating to AM at the end (the logical next step after moving from zero accidentals in the key to one and then to two, and finally to three accidentals in A Major) but *really* didn't like how the motives felt in major. Right now it is kind of *resting* at F#m. Finding the right key to end it in is very important and will change the attitude of the piece completely when I find the right one.

4) Smooth out transitions. Pretty cut and dry a statement, but it will be tedious and difficult unless the perfect ideas hit right away.

5) Decide on a definite outro. This won't be too hard. I will experiment with a few ways and find it, but right now the piece just kind of ends with the main motive and I don't like that. It's boring... not very final.

So there you have it. The piece grooves pretty hard but isn't devoid of melody. It sits in 4/4, shifts to 3/4 and then back to 4/4, moves through 14/16, 10/16, and then goes back to 4/4, and it moves through several keys on this strange and fast rhythmic journey that took me by surprise (all of my what?).

It has been interesting to write and the A section practically wrote itself, but this will be a bitch to perform because of the polyrhythms.

Let me know what you guys think.

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