Towards Better Democracy

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Piece de Musique Banale – a Post Minimal work?

OK, readers, here is the title of my first composition. It is not less than incredible. I was quite unaware of a musical form terms Post Minimalism. But as you will see from the post just put up such a term exists. Is that not extraordinary.

I’ll tell you why. The piece under composition is quite unlike any music I have heard. The test, though, is what does the first listener think. I has been my custom to have a first reader for any poem just written. I do not do this with my visual art. Well not is not true. I do show visual works to my wife. But they may or may not have already been posted on Saatchi Art  I am not posting work on Art Finder at present, my other online site despite my first art sale coming from that site, Upon Time. Art Finder does not give the number of  visits to a work so I have not idea how many there have been. I tell you of this because Saatchi Art does and Upon Time was among those works that I pulled recently which were low performers in terms of number of visits. I keep putting works and try to keep at a nominal total of 100. I may put Upon Time back up. Notice in passing that the work is big. For a fine art print. very big.

I cannot say to you that Piece de Musique Banale will see light of day. I find the construction of the piece compelling and the musical motifs attractive. In fact, one is so much so that I find myself both humming and whistling the choon.

The next piece going up is listed as a Post Minimal work. I don’t know about that. It does not sound distinct from Minimalism. In fact, had heard untainted so to speak by the musical term attached to it I would have said straight of it is minimalism. But why fight over labels. You make up your own mind listening to the piece. l find it attractive and melodic. The next piece going up after that is definitely minimalist.

Piece de Musique Banale is, on the other hand, quite distinct. The resemblance to minimalist is there as an influence. That is where the resemblance ends. The work at present comprises a mildly disonant chord, one held by the LH and the other by the RH.

The chords are not loud at the entry to the work and are held, once played for between 6 and 10 beats of a crochet in length. The beat is then established for the entire piece. The pace of the work rarely goes faster than semicrochets. So it’s slow. The reason for that is that it is intensely lyrical, even poignant in places. The chords spoken of above are used as frame to open close and the work and reoccur at times to separate separate passages.

Within these held chords are musical motifs of usually 6 notes. There are about 4 of theses at present. I don’t want to clutter the work and take away from its beauty.

I studies piano. voice and music theory extensively at the University of the Witwatersrand when I lived in South Africa. But being a depressive I never progressed but kept cycling round at beginning level. One difficulty was being able to coordinate eye and hand. But what appears to be the case is that I have retained all of it, all of that study within my sub conscience. Last night I played out the entire scales LH and RH hand. I could figure out fingering and all that. I will never be able to perform as a professional, a concert pianist does. But I don’t need to. No one, except some blighted friends need hear my playing. Those who will are those whom I am going to be working with in the coming weeks.

Essentially I have not touched the piano since I left South Africa in 1984. You can make of this what you will.

I caution that I have no idea whether I will progress, whether first listeners will consider the work worthy of assailing on the public ear, far less having paid to listen.

But here’s what. I will learn or relearn more properly, to read music. And then, readers, I am off. If it is not this work that puts the first men on the moon,  it will be one of the those that follow.

As a child I would endless improvise on the piano. Have been told in the past, not in recent years that improvisation within the classical realm is rare but I don’t know.
Don’t hold your breath but hope, if you will, that I will provide something worthwhile and pleasurable to listeners. And, who knows, you might even be one of them.

Bye for now.

Malcolm D B Munro
Saturday 5 August, 2017





Filed under: Arts, Media, Memoir, Music, songs, stories

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