A Beautiful Evening Cloud

Page 1

A Beautiful Evening Cloud One melody System & Seven Melodic Etudes Composed by James Wilkie

The Melody Apothecary [~] Issue #01


Table of Contents

Introduction

1

Interval Circles

2-3

Seven Evening Clouds (Etudes)

4-5

Word composition

6-7

Sketch & Afterword

8-9

[~]


Introduction This work describes a system that combines a sentence with interval circles to generate melody. The work closes with seven small etudes composed using the system.

“A Beautiful Evening Cloud” This will be the sentence to serve our system. What is an interval circle? It is an endless sequence of a single interval quality (2nds, 3rds, 4ths) across a given scale. Like “Do, Re, Mi...” (this is the Circle of Seconds), or the “Circle of Fiths”: There are circles for every interval quality.

Making the Melody System 1. Decide what noticeable aspects of the materials to use in the system 2. Choose a mechanism to produce interactions between the materials

The Materials The Sententence “A Beautiful Evening Cloud” a noticeable aspect of the sentence use is the sequence of contrasting vowels and consonants. We will preserve this sequence: [A,e, a, u, i, u, e, e, i, o, u] The Interval Circle We could imagine the notes as cogs in a wheel: Each move along the circle rings one note.

The Mechanism - “If then else” A mechanism entwines and systemises interactions between materials - it creates patterns. We will use the mechanism “If then Else” to read the sentence a letter per interaction: • IF the letter is a vowel THEN the next note played is from the interval circle • IF the letter is anything ELSE than a vowel, THEN we may chose any note to play All rhythms in this work have been shaped by the composer intuitively. 1


Interval Circles

Interval Circle One (Unison)

 

 



 

 

 







Interval Circle Seven (Sevenths)

 

Interval Circle Six (Sixths)

 



Interval Circle Five (Fifths)

Interval Circle Four (Fourths)

Interval Circle Three (Thirds)

Interval Circle Two (Seconds)

The Interval Circles

Are simply patterns from which we may attach our ideas to: A kind of structure, foundation, gravity from which we push pull, and break away from. I call the notes within a circle pattern “Anchors” or “Orbits”, because any idea is drawning back or pulling away from this locus. It is important that you find your own terms. 2

3


Circles and Vowels Combined A

  

e

a

u

i

u

e

e

i

o

u

i

o

u

u

i

u

e

e









 

 

A

e

a

 

 

 

  [...]



This is the system.

We apply the sequence of the vowels from the sentence “A Beautiful Morning Cloud” to the Pitch circles from the page opposite.

[A e a u i u e e i o u] is paired to each circle note in sequence We could imagine the above as cogs in a wheel or about a circle: Each time a vowel appears in the sequence, the cog turns to the next note in the pitch circle and rings out.

3


u d c l o u  n g i  d                  ii nn gg cc ll oo uu d                    i  n g c l o u dd     e a u t i  f                    A b e a u t i  f u l   e v e n i  n g c l o u d   A b    v e nn i i n g u  c l o u o  v e l e e n g du d l     u          A  b  e  a  u  t i  f u  l e v  e n i n g   c ll o  u     A b e  a u t i   f u l e v ee nn i  n g  c l o u dd    A b  ee aa uu tt i  f u l ee vv e n ii  nn gg  c l oo uu dd   A i f c  b   A  b  e a u t i  f u l e v e n i  n g  c l o u         A b  e a u t i  f u l e v e n i n g  c l o u dd l  u             c l    u  e a  t i f A b                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A A A A A 

b b b b

e e e e

a a a a

u u u u

t t t t

i i i i

f f f f

u u u u u

n l e v e n l e v e n l e v e Seven Evening Clouds n l e v e n l e v e 

[~]

2 2 2 2 2 2 2

4

i

n

l

o

      


About the Seven Etudes

Cumulus - Interval Circle One (unison) This etude presents the outcome of the system using a single pitch (unison) to which it returns to for every vowel. Stratocumulus - Interval Circle Seconds This etude uses sequential 2nds to underpin the movement across the phrase. The other notes are chosen by the composer. The outcome is very different in motion. Stratus - Interval Circle Thirds This circle seemed to ask for the inclusions of accidentals. The outcome with this circle felt very lyrical and offered the chance to finish in a poetic way. Altostrus - Interval Circle Fourths This etude works with a sequence of 4ths and as such is the first to present the effects of a downward scale (this includes 6th anc 7ths). Altocumulus - Interval Circle Fifths This circle produce wide entrances to the musical gesture. It may offer very angular results when combined with more esoteric or symetrical scales.

Cumulonimbus - Interval Circle Sixths This circle may be played continuously.

Cirrus - Interval Circle Sevenths This etude descends in 7ths and produces unusual situations for the composer. The phrasing often felt necessary to break into smaller units using this circle. [~] The circles and words have been combined to offer a system which has some amount of rigidity (a vowel = a note from the cycle) with some amount of freedom (non vowels are to be notes of the composers choosing). As I chose my own notes, This system brought compound melodies and pulse to my attention. Our “system� could be formulated as a simple conditional algorithm. 5


This space is for you

I hope they do not come off as too didactic or something worse

Consider them as a conversation between us, we have yet to have

Music we have yet to make between us - I’d love to hear it.

It felt beautiful at the time. Behind it was a memory of something good.

Be in touch. Send your sounds and thoughts to my

6


To contemplate the ideas shared here in this work.

The cat is quite still in the window

Garden Gnome

Cloud 7


8


Afterword Only the letters and vowels of the sentence were noticed and used for our system; there are many ways to alter it, we could: • Use the word grouping word as melodic phrasing; • Take the rhythms in which we speak the phrase; • Apply different scales; • Intermix the interval cycles to create more intricate lines; • Substitute the clouds and words for other materials to organise. Take these Etudes and modify them. Make them your own. Make your own clouds. [~] James Wlikie. St Leonards-on-Sea, 2020

Further Reading

• D’Agapeyeff, A., 2016. Codes And Ciphers - A History Of Cryptography. Read Books Ltd. • Yates, F., 2014. The Art Of Memory. London: The Bodley Head. • 1997. Arvo Pärt. Oxford Studies Of Composers. Oxford University Press.

About the Author

James Wilkie is a musician seeking the good life through sound.

9


About The Melody Apothecary Is about sharing insight into composing and systems: often the tools are shared but not the craft. This series aims to subvert that. These works introduce methodical thought to the imagination through the practice of sound. The works will come in the form of stories, meditations, fragments, interviews, and images – all to be combined to nurture unique creative thought. [~]

2020


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.