Motivation This quarter I decided to compose a piece for acoustic instruments. I came away from 220b thinking I would have better luck composing my own piece than having an algorithm generate it. This is probably due to the fact that I am a better musician than coder. It has been a while since I made a composition, and I realized while composing this piece how much I enjoy the compositional process. Composing your own piece is a great way to learn about your own musical cognitive process and makes you really think about what types of parameters should evolve over time to make a cohesive piece of music. Thus far I have been unsuccessful in programming an algorithm to deal with these musical parameters in a creative and human-like way. That would be a very non- trivial task. Anyway, itʼs easier and more fun to simply generate the piece myself. It is a lot of fun to solve problems like how motifs should evolve and interact over time, what kinds of textures should follow others, and other high level musical phenomena.
Weekly Updates As far as weekly updates go, I basically composed a few new measures every week. I also went down to Santa Clara to consult with my friend/composer Alex Christie and get some outside feedback and ideas of pieces to listen to for inspiration. The quarter culminated in a final recording where we were missing one violin and percussion. Nevertheless the recording sounds pretty good, and gives me a good idea of what things to change about the piece. I am planning to extend this first movement as well as write a second, more aggressive movement over the summer/next year and will post a version of the piece on this wiki once I have a good recording.
Analysis Musically, the first half of the piece involves a series of rising and falling phrases, each which use parallel intervals pretty extensively (hence the title). The second part is more atmospheric, with high artificial cello harmonics adding texture. There's a brief cello interlude, and I have yet to write the recapitulation. I will post a recording soon once I touch it up a little more.