Interchanging Idioms, what's the point???

Part of the purpose of this concert is a "coming out" or announcement of my arrival as a composer. As such, it is important that I display a sense of who I am as a composer, define what is my style. Many of the previous posts have discussed my thoughts on what are the elements modern classical music ought have (at least to some extent) and this is certainly the direction I have headed with my compositions.

  • Blending popular music styles into the classical medium

    Both the string quartet Skimming Rock and Skipping Stones and the opera It Must Be Fate incorporate modern "pop" styles. The quartet is heavily influenced by rock of the 70's and 80's while the opera is influenced by urban music. Figuratively Speaking doesn't have as much influence, although the middle movement, You Can't Catch Rabbits with Drums has a strong rhythm throughout which could be related to the strong beats of modern pop music (but that would be a tenuous connection at best).

    The title of the concert, Interchanging Idioms, highlights this particular aspect of my music, blending different musical mediums into something new. It also refers to my love of words and the importance communication plays in both words and music. The titles for the movements of the quartet are Taken for Granite, Salt of the Earth and Clean Slate playing on the colloquialisms and their references to types of rock. It Must Be Fate is another colloquialism and ties in our modern sentiments with those ancient Greek Godesses. All the movements of Figuratively Speaking are colloquialisms. So, in some respect all three pieces of this concert are tied together with words, communication, common phrases and relating these concepts through music.

  • Melodic content

    In all three pieces there is a strong sense of melody, tunes that I hope are memorable. I feel the audience should be able to connect with the music, and take away something that lingers on in their minds. Melodies have been part of our musical being and are cross cultural (although melodies from one culture might sound vastly different from another, all cultures have some sense of melody).

  • Rhythmic interest

    All three pieces are fairly rhythmically intensive. The quartet is probably the least complex in terms of cross rhythms and syncopation, but even it has moments which layers the rhythms against each other. Both the opera and the symphony are fairly complex rhythmically, much to the consternation of the performers. On the page the music doesn't look that difficult, but in performance there is a real challenge to keep the parts in sync.

    There are certainly more elements to my music that just these three. However, these are the primary points I feel classical music (at least for me) needs to incorporate in order to be a viable influence in todays music world.

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