Note: This is a post about the day 5 of the Thirty Days of Focus, see the introductory post for more details.
As I wrote yesterday, I feared the difficulties while also being excited about the possibilities. For today, the excitement won :) When I was done with the appointments for the day, I asked myself, “What do I really want to make happen today?” And the answer was clear: work on my music, work on this composition for the Focus challenge. So I did.
As the next step after the transcription, I chose to define a basic rhythm to support the melodic part. I added a drum track in Guitar Pro and started marking the rhythm using a hi-hat.
For the first few bars the simple 4/4 time went OK. But as the faster part (which I have been referring as B-I before, accordingly to the marker in the GarageBand project with the video; it is marked B in today’s score below) started, I noticed that the accents were totally off. The part was asking for the compound time. So I switched to 6/8, and the notation started making much more sense. However, that chromatic part at the end of B-I wasn’t making much sense any longer, so I simplified it to use (mostly) the notes from the D minor scale.
Going through the rest of the score (now in 6/8) and cleaning it up, I have noticed that the final parts of the composition, which are marked as D and E in the score below, had quite distinct upbeats. But after tiding up the section E, I noticed that the section D wasn’t looking or sounding quite right no matter what I did to it. After giving another careful look and some thought, I decided to try 9/8 instead. It seemed to work out better, though still not perfect.
Here is the score with which I’ve finished today (click on a thumbnail to see the full page):
If you decide to compare against what was there yesterday, you will see that quite a lot things has changed, not only the time signatures. In the first four days while transcribing, I wanted to capture the notes as closely to the original improvisational performance as possible. Today, my attention switched to creating a structure around the score, and I have been sculpting existing notes and progressions, moving them around a bit, but mostly adding or removing extra notes to make the part sound more solid. For now, this was also at a cost of smoothing out a few special and very nice sounding features that are in the performance. However, as the composition will grow and evolve over the course of next days and weeks, some of these features may find their way back into the final result.
Let’s recap day 5:
- Aside from a few emotional swings, the challenge has acquired its actual priority in my mind, attracting resources to make it happen. (As I heard via Vic Johnson, there are two fundamental components for that, no matter what the task is: the belief that it’s possible and the desire to do it).
- I started to sketch a drum part to support the melodic part, and noticed that the simple 4/4 time was working well only for the very beginning. Most of the content has a compound time feeling (all these sections were rewritten in 6/8 but one in 9/8), on top of that quite a few parts have upbeats.
- In cleaning up the composition to work nicer within the given structural context, a few good things were smoothed out for now. They might find their way back after a while if I will really miss them. Alternatively, I might realize that they really did not fit the flow of the music in the first place.