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Old 09-01-2018, 11:07 AM   #1
Holy smoking keyboard!
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
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Default Is it or isn't it?

To continue an earlier discussion-----
I wrote a Theme (Ground) in an irregular time signature, to appear at the beginning and again at the end of this piece (see below) I then wrote Variations.

Dithis with Drone - I followed the themal notes, and used the traditional Dithis Doubling dotted rhythm with repeated notes. There is continuous sound throughout the whole piece. The drone is represented by a guitar bottom string tuned down to low D.

Sorrow within, Seabirds without. This variation uses the harmony of the Ground, with seabird sounds on guitar. The 'no words' represents the bacterial lockjaw condition which befell the babies on St Kilda described in the paper which inspired the piece.

The Spinning Wheel will turn again (after Chedare) For this variation I sat with an artists sketch pad and drew chedare shapes for an afternoon, on and off manuscript, and in pencil and in colour. I experimented with, and changed the shapes. This variation represents the way in which after a shocking bereavement, sooner or later, life slowly resumes. At the end a slow spelling out of the first notes of a Crunluath movement.

Luath or 'fast' is about the angst and turmoil that death brings with it -amongst the heartrending tears- a laugh, a joke, or someone coming to the door with half a dozen eggs. Anything can happen.

In Memoriam a repeat of the Ground, with a perfect fifth then minor third strategically placed to emphasise pathos and grief, and to emphasise how those we lose are indelibly embedded in our minds and hearts.

So although no bagpipe and not a piobaireachd in the 'traditional' traditional sense, the ghost of a piobaireachd seems to be there like a shadow throughout. To me at least.
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Old 09-03-2018, 12:16 AM   #2
Holy smoking keyboard!
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Default Re: Is it or isn't it?

IIIIIIIIII...love it!
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Old 09-07-2018, 11:04 AM   #3
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Is it or isn't it?

The basic form of "theme and variation" goes very deep into the heart of the celtic idioms. It underpins everything we do, including music that may not be "properly" referred to as "piobaireachd," either because it's not pipe music or because it doesn't contain all the structures that we consider part of the modern form. The influence is still very much there.
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