. Interchanging Idioms: TwtrSymphony: Symphony No. 2 Birds of a Feather - Talking about the first piece

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TwtrSymphony: Symphony No. 2 Birds of a Feather - Talking about the first piece

As the musicians record the music in preparation for the launch of TwtrSymphony's first piece, here is a bit of what to expect

The symphony, Birds of a Feather will be the first official release of TwtrSymphony. While it's the first piece for TwtrSymphony, it bears the title Symphony No. 2 Birds of a Feather as it is composer Chip Michael's second symphony. The musicians are currently recording their parts for the first movement, The Hawk Goes Hunting as Chip Michael prepares parts for them to start work on the second movement, Birds of Paradise. The process is being fast-tracked to get this first effort out to an eager audience. It helps that many of the musicians are excited about the process, too.

The first movement, The Hawk Goes Hunting is a bold statement as if to say "Here we are!" TwtrSymphony is making a statement, albeit short (only 2'11"), that rather is the point of Twitter: to be concise. The movement is in Sonata-Allegro form, capturing the mood in "135" beats --beats being a relative term as much of the piece is written in 13/8. Instead of thinking of a beat in terms of eighth notes, composer Chip Michael writes music where the constant pulse of eighth notes ride under larger groups of four, five and six. So, rather than thinking of 13/8 as thirteen beats, it feels more like three (5, 4 and 4).

The second movement, Birds of Paradise is slower and more introspective. The colors of the orchestra come into play as they slowly dance about the theme. Like the first movement, the primary meter is 13/8, but grouped in a different way to provide a new way of "feeling" the music (5, 5 and 3).

Svolazzanti Danza is the third movement and is Italian for "Fluttering Dance." As might be typical for a third movement in a classical symphony, the minuet and trio is used with a nod toward the Scherzo or "joke." The music dances about in some unlikely patterns. The minuet is in 13/8 with a sense of four beats to the measure (3, 3, 3 & 4), while the trio keeps with the use of 13/8 as for a sense of three (4, 4, 5).

The final movement, Flying in Formation, is a chance for the orchestra to truly emulate the flight of birds. The music shifts and flows as a flock of starlings might glide through the sky, taking sudden turns without warning, all the while keeping a cohesive form. The use of 13/8 continues to appear, but this time the groupings shift using all the previous forms creating ever shifting movement.

Overall, the symphony is incredibly short, less than 10 mins. Yet, it captures the essence of the symphonic form, pay homage to Twitter's 140 character limit, and features the many talented musicians of TwtrSymphony.

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