This week’s video is another performance of one of my own compositions, Loss. It’s my take on a funeral march/death scene, which I released last year on my solo piano album, Let the Journey Begin!. The slow tempo is pretty standard for this kind of music, but I experimented with using phrases of varying lengths, so as not to have it feel too measured – I wanted the instability of losing someone.
The piece starts off very diatonic, but as it goes on there is more chromaticism and countermelodies are introduced, so although there’s repetition of the main melodies and long sections over a tonic pedal, there’s always something new being introduced to add variety and interest. I’m believe that repetitions are a useful tool when writing music, but I’m not a fan when they’re used unnecessarily or if they don’t add anything new to a piece.
I have a new video this week, which is a performance of one of my own compositions – the one that started my journey as a composer. I actually wrote the initial draft of it back in 2013 and it’s gone through multiple revisions over the years before I settled on this one. If you’ve listened to my recent album, you’ll know it already. Despite having written it so long ago, I think that it’s still one of the strongest melodies that I’ve written.
When I first wrote it, I was experimenting with polyrhythms – I didn’t have much experience with them but knew that I wanted to use them to increase the sense of something not quite being right in the repeat of section A in this piece. Writing them into was pretty easy, but I struggled with playing them at the time.
Since then, I’ve explored how to practise polyrhythms fairly extensively. I’m in the process of writing the script for a video dealing with how to effectively practise them, though it’ll take a while because it’s the first of this kind of video that I’m planning to make. Does anyone have any notable polyrhythms that they struggled with (or are struggling with)?
Also, which other topics would you like to see teaching videos about?