I really enjoy these challenges from At Water’s Edge they keep me on my toes as a composer. Each piece has it’s own challenges both in it’s creation and technically.
The challenge was to create a piece of music based on alternate tunings and unusual scales and to make it about being underwater.
Scales = Fish
I have always loved watching Koi carp and they have appeared regularly in both my music and artwork. They not only look beautiful in their many golden shades but are also graceful, swimming in circles of varying sizes, in small groups, occasionally coming up to the surface to take the air.
With this image in mind, I decided to use the scale Min’yō (民謡), a scale used in traditional Japanese folk music, as my musical starting point.
I decided to create a piece solely using this scale and its notes with repeated phrases interweaving, to try and replicate the circles that Koi swim in the glinting water. I also added small ‘water blips’ from field recordings, as the Koi take in air and then continue on their never-ending circular motion.
Thank you again to Rebekkah Hilgraves for considering my track for her show. You can listen to the podcast here with a varied collection of fishy subjects and styles. – really recommended : )
You can listen / buy the release of all the tracks included in the radio show here (pay what you like). All proceeds go to Radio Spiral, which enables artists like me to keep experimenting, creating and producing music.
Circles artwork by Museleon.