25th May 2015

I have decided to settle on composing for piano and violin which I can then arrange later for another instrumentation if the music lends itself to this. 

In my minds eye, the different motifs I have been working with represent different auditory and visual concepts. The "Green" image I am writing for (see Day 1) has for me come to represent spring when the snow is melting, and there are only patches of white left. The opening motive, a play on C#, E and with the occasional B, represents single water droplets dripping after the rain has stopped. For this Rain Drops motive there is both a regular pulse using single pitches to represent different water droplets and their unique path and sound based on what they land on, but there are also occasional irregularities in rhythm (by using rests) which convey other natural hinderances that may get in the way of the droplets path such as wind blowing or an animal or plant swaying and blocking its way. Today I played around with developing this Rain Drops motive further as shown in the following example (figure 6.1). 

Figure 6.1: Rain Drops motive   

© Katherine Rawlings 2015

© Katherine Rawlings 2015

In the above figure 6.1 in bar 5, G natural is used instead of G# to thwart expectation and create momentary tension or surprise. Often beauty and intrigue can be more greatly realised when combined with unexpected moments of conflict or tension. They make the beauty seem more intense, so when the motive returns to the well established and familiar G# in the following bar, this resolution is all the more satisfying (and avoids cliché). Writer Anne Lamott describes beautifully the nuance of this concept in the following quote:

"This is our goal as writers, I think; to help others have this sense of - please forgive me- wonder, of seeing things anew, things that can catch us off guard, that break in on our small, bordered worlds" [1]    


In its original form, the Water Ripples motive looked like this (figure 6.2):

Figure 6.2: Water Ripples motive draft 1

© Katherine Rawlings 2015

© Katherine Rawlings 2015

Water Ripples was then developed by replacing the occasional notes with rests at varying points in the motive. This not only serves to reduce the monotony caused by exact repetition, it also represents the many obstacles that get in the way of the waters path such rocks and plant life. In particular the highlighted segments (below) remind me of the rhythm of water slapping against a boat or pier. This developed draft of Water Ripples is shown in figure 6.3 in the top line of the piano part, played in tandem with the Rain Drops motive in the bottom line.

Figure 6.3: Water Ripples motive development (top line of piano) and Rain Drops motive (bottom line) 

© Katherine Rawlings 2015

© Katherine Rawlings 2015

[1] Anne Lamott, "Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life", (New York, Anchor Books, 1993), P. 100

  

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AuthorKatherine Rawlings