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A short piece for two shakuhachi

 
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Niklas Natt och Dag
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PostPosted: 2011-06-20, 01:03    Post subject: A short piece for two shakuhachi Reply with quote

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I've been trying to work on harmonies between two flutes with varied success for some time. This is a short piece that I made for two shakuhachi. I'm not trying to pass it off as even remotely related to honkyoku or to any Japanese tradition – every time I try to make music, regardless of instrument, friends usually tell me it sounds "baroque" or "medieval". Anyway, if you feel like it, tell me what you think. Any feedback will be duly meditated on.

Original title is "Sanjugo-nen no onna wa Rexus to Lärkstaden de ore no chushajo o nusunda yo", and the piece deals with my existential sorrow over having narrowly missed a great parking space close to my office, which was instead taken by a lady in a Lexus.

http://soundcloud.com/user2966950/sanjugo-nen-no-onna
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Jeff Cairns
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PostPosted: 2011-06-20, 06:36    Post subject: A short piece for two shakuhachi Reply with quote

Don't fret my friend. Her downfall is obviously in needing to drive a Lexus at 35. And from another perspective, on a metaphysical level, she was concerned with your heart and facilitated the cardio-workout.
eyes wide open Shocked
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Niklas Natt och Dag
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PostPosted: 2011-06-20, 11:51    Post subject: A short piece for two shakuhachi Reply with quote

Wise words indeed, and much appreciated.

The whole affair unleashed a cluster of philosophical questions: Who am I to question her choice of propulsion? What delusions of grandeur made me think of a public space as my own property? Were my feelings in fact motivated by envy, and what does that say about my own value system? Would she have been more deserving of the parking space had she driven a crappier car? Why did I not walk to work in the first place? And so forth.

There's nothing like a thoroughly flat tsu no meri to get your mind off daily frustrations such as these and on to more elevated, bamboo-related frustrations.
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Christian Grobmeier
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PostPosted: 2011-06-20, 15:48    Post subject: A short piece for two shakuhachi Reply with quote

I have no clue about your philosophical debatte.

But I really enjoyed the piece.

Actually I can imagine why the people around you say it sounds medieval. To be honest, I felt more in ancient britannia than in japan when I listened. Did you ever think about using early european instruments for this melody? If you have western notation for this piece, I might do some magic with my synthesizers for you.
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Jim Thompson
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PostPosted: 2011-06-20, 16:03    Post subject: A short piece for two shakuhachi Reply with quote

Hi Christian,
I think it is your use of the intervals of 4ths and 5ths between the two parts that is indeed like medieval music. Especially ending a phrase on the open 5th. Add to that the sort of recorderish sound of the shakuhachi and there you are. The melody itself is workable in many styles. It is your accompaniment part that is taking it to the medieval sound. You could rewrite the second part and don't change the melody and get very different results. Just a thought.
Peace
Jim
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Niklas Natt och Dag
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PostPosted: 2011-06-20, 17:12    Post subject: A short piece for two shakuhachi Reply with quote

Christian, cool to hear you enjoyed it! I would love to hear a syntheziser version (church organ, maybe?) but unfortunately I can't read or write staff notation. I've been meaning to learn for ages, but things always seem to get in the way (people in Lexuses, for one). If I'll ever try to write this down as an exercise, you'll be the first to get it!

Jim – that's really interesting, thanks a lot for the analysis. I understand using 5ths has a very "gregorian chant"-ish quality to it. I'm just a dilettante when it comes to western musical terms, and for the accompaniment part, I was just sort of winging it, trying to find a melody that went along with the main track without creating dissonance. I'll try to do something else around the main part and see what happens. Again, thanks for sharing your knowledge, that's awesome.
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Jim Thompson
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PostPosted: 2011-06-20, 17:53    Post subject: A short piece for two shakuhachi Reply with quote

Niklas,
Thanks for properly interpreting my misaddressed post.
I enjoyed your piece as well. It's a standard assignment in composition courses to take a melody and see how many different ways you can harmonize it, or how many different moods or ethnic flavors or whatever contexts you can put that melody into. It is truly incredible how many different ways you can do something.
Wing on!
Jim
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Niklas Natt och Dag
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PostPosted: 2011-06-20, 21:40    Post subject: A short piece for two shakuhachi Reply with quote

So, for Elementary Composition 101: This is an attempt to make the same piece less John Dowland and more Yamamoto Hozan… same main melody, with the accompaniment trying to stay away from the gregorian 4ths and the 5ths, and using a couple of more honkyokuesque phrasings along with meri-sounds.

http://soundcloud.com/niklasnattochdag/sanjugo-nen-no-onna-2
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andy carter
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PostPosted: 2011-06-27, 18:13    Post subject: A short piece for two shakuhachi Reply with quote

Just like to say I found this conversation fascinating
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Christian Grobmeier
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PostPosted: 2011-06-28, 11:35    Post subject: A short piece for two shakuhachi Reply with quote

Niklas Natt och Dag wrote:
So, for Elementary Composition 101: This is an attempt to make the same piece less John Dowland and more Yamamoto Hozan… same main melody, with the accompaniment trying to stay away from the gregorian 4ths and the 5ths, and using a couple of more honkyokuesque phrasings along with meri-sounds.

http://soundcloud.com/niklasnattochdag/sanjugo-nen-no-onna-2


I like that too. I don't think it sounds more japanese though - sorry to say. In fact I really think you should play it with a recorder. That might sound great.
Maybe a combination of recorder and shakuhachi? (random thought)
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Niklas Natt och Dag
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PostPosted: 2011-06-28, 13:05    Post subject: A short piece for two shakuhachi Reply with quote

Christian, I agree with everything you said. Thanks for the input!
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-06-28, 14:16    Post subject: A short piece for two shakuhachi Reply with quote

I like it. Don't change it.
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Jon Palombi
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PostPosted: 2011-06-28, 22:36    Post subject: A short piece for two shakuhachi Reply with quote

Nicely done, it was a very enjoyable listen. How is such tranquility born from your parking frustrations? Hey, whatever it takes, right? Despite the Baroque elements to the musical composition, it still shines through with the enigmatic characteristics of the Japanese shakuhachi. The same rich tone and mysterious sound. Kudos, Niklas Natt och Dag!!! Okay
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Niklas Natt och Dag
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PostPosted: 2011-06-30, 16:29    Post subject: A short piece for two shakuhachi Reply with quote

As it seems a bit conceited to saturate this whole section of the Forum with my own home-recorded crap, I'll just post it in this same thread instead.

What's that you said? You've never heard Swedish 18th century folk music on the shakuhachi before? Oh, how can you even call yourself alive… and so forth. This is called Polska från Äppelbo, "polska" being a traditional dance in 3/4 time, and "Äppelbo" being the place of origin, a little town in county Dalarna in the middle of the country. A place where apples grow and is fit for human habitation, if the name is to be believed. I've added a rudimentary second part as accompaniment.

Cost is 41 seconds of your life. No refunds.

http://soundcloud.com/niklasnattochdag/polska-fr-n-ppelbo
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