Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Trio-mphe? H'mph...

It was finished in December. It was hard parting with this composition, like giving a child away. I still miss it, to tinker with and call my own. It took me 18 months, on and off, to write.

 Trio Hoboken: Saskia Lethiec (violin), Eric Picard (cello), Jérôme Granjon (piano)

Anyway, since then it's been with Saskia, Jérôme and Eric, the musicians who are going to give it its first performance on Friday, June 15th, in the little 9th-Century chapel called the Prieuré de St Julien, below.

Prieuré de St Julien, Hérault département, France

It's crammed with visual images, mostly about the village. The up-and-down outline of its shape. Crocodiles of infant classes going to the school canteen. The village cats. A lizard, even. The youth of the village assembling behind the bus shelter, revving their bikes. A little old lady dancing - in this instance, trying to do the Gay Gordons without falling over. The time in about 1930 when the church roof fell in during Mass. (No one was hurt. A miracle?) The monsoon-like rain that sometimes soaks us. A love duet for cello and violin, over a plainchant accompaniment, inspired by the Prieuré, the place where it will actually have its first performance. The strong  Spanish element in local dances...

Do you (i.e. does anyone) see pictures, form visual impressions when you listen to music? Of events, or places, or people? I know I do. One of the poverties of modern popular music is that it depends so heavily on the visual, and the visual becomes more important than the music. It's all done for you, your choice in the matter has been stolen from you. Is this a terribly unfashionable, indeed arrogant, thing to say?

Anyway, I've managed to cram about 5 minutes'-worth of extracts here:

With this time limit it isn't possible to include all the things listed above. It's not the real thing - I'll post that after performance, all being well - it's the approximation my composition software comes up with. I hope you enjoy it. And if you should happen to be in this area on June 15th, do come to the concert, details here, click on CONCERTS 2012. I should be so pleased to see you.

(Copyright 2011, of course, though it seems churlish to mention it. But you have my full permission to hum the tunes if you want to.)


Mike and Ann said...

I am lost in admiration, Christopher. I can play around with words, as any of us can (bloggers can anyway); but to be able to create a musical score seems to me to be the most God-given of gifts.

Tim said...

Just one listen, will have another later; but a couple of motifs are now contesting in my head (in a good way!).
I do see pictures (of my own), and I'm completely with you about the banality of thinking it necessary to thrust them at us rather than let us see our own; but that's done to distract from the banality of their actual music.

Z said...

My mental impressions form a narrative rather than visual impressions because I'm so very prosaic. I love your Trio* and I wish I could be there to hear it in full in June. I'm sure it will be a huge success, congratulations on your achievement.

*That is, the music. I'm sure the musicians are delightful too.

Christopher said...

M and A: Thank you. Very much appreciated.

Tim: I'd be very interested to hear the results of the 'contest'. And yes, such a big part of one's whole listening experience is the privacy bit, the inner evocation of that range of experiences, moods, images and people to which you have sole access.

Z: Thank you. Very much appreciated again. And yes, the musicians are delightful people.

Sir Bruin said...

I'll give it a listen when I get home (My work computer won't play it). Like Mike, I am impressed by anyone who can create music. I used to be a drummer and therefore was only someone who hung around with musicians.
I don't know about music conjuring images for me. Sometimes, perhaps. My musical taste is fairly wide, but is centred around the late 60s prog rock genre (much to the disgust of the Smaller Bear). This was well before the music video thing that we get now. Therefore, I tend to associate certain music with periods or events in my life.
By the way, I used to ride a Triomphe Tiger.

Vicus Scurra said...

Very nice.
I don't see anything when I listen to music. I am also uninspired by most things visual - Dali, Cezanne, Da Vinci included - apart from a Tom Graveney cover drive.

Christopher said...

Sir B: I'm afraid the village lads could never aspire to anything like a Triomphe Tigre. Pity. It would have been a pleasure to include a simulation of its power acceleration. Next time, maybe.

Vicus: Thank you. I would how you would compare the power acceleration of a Triumph Tiger with a Tom Graveney cover drive? (But I agree, a lovely batsman, cover drive maybe only equalled by the otherwise fairly graceless Hutton?)

Sarah said...

I thought it sounded like a Spring morning...well the first bit anyway ! Lovely... I find it astonishing how music can alter one's mood, instantly. I'm a big fan of music that makes me want to get up and dance....helps with the painting !

Nice blue door BTW on the post below.

Christopher said...

Sah: Good to see you - thanks for dropping in! Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for listening.

mig bardsley said...

Oh I did enjoy it and I do hope all goes well and we can hear the real thing. I could happily listen to a lot more like that. Thank you.

I tend to hear textures and patterns rather than actual images when I listen to instrumental music. Generally I find modern music videos awfully trite but I have seen one or two which were quite an exciting visual complement.

Christopher said...

Mig, how kind. Thank you so much.

Tim said...

Okay - the 3/4 melodic snatch at the start of the second excerpt; and the great (9/8?) rhythmic riff at the end. I want to hear more of these (and of it all, of course!)

It has occurred to me that a lot of popular music is excessively lyric-based (nowadays often at the expense of melody) and hence enforces its own pictures.