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Research #01 for seven strings   You are logged in as Guest
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rojarosguitar

Posts: 243
Joined: Dec. 8 2010
 

Research #01 for seven strings 

Here is my first creative account of the great many impressions I brought from my trip to Japan played on the 7 strings flamenca negra made for my by our Alexandru Marian.

I post it as off topic, because it's not flamenco music, altghough played on a flamenco guitar.

best wishes
Robert



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Music is a big continent with different lascapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

A good musical instrument is one that inspires one to express as free as possible
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 9 2015 20:12:31
 
rojarosguitar

Posts: 243
Joined: Dec. 8 2010
 

RE: Research #01 for seven strings (in reply to rojarosguitar

Bump ... seems to be horrible ... LOL

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Music is a big continent with different lascapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

A good musical instrument is one that inspires one to express as free as possible
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 24 2015 21:05:49
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Research #01 for seven strings (in reply to rojarosguitar

You're not going to like what I have to say, but there it is- Some further research ideas:

This sounds more like sketch book notes and random ideas lumped all together. A compost heap to grow some music distinctive music out of. It would sound better if you listed more carefully to Japanese folk music rhythmic structures. The first 2 minutes are kind of free improvised half Spanish guitar cliches and half koto -shamisen cliches.
In several places a rhythmic idea begins and then gets dropped, shamisen music is very driven by a beat. And the big shimmering waterfall washes of sound that come from a koto should be left to disintegrate into air longer and not be clipped off. Every time you get something going to you noodle over it with some Spanishy sounding stuff.

The video is super annoying cliche' tourist stuff. Many people come to Japan and fetishize the land because it seems exotic, but it's really not like that. I could write book about why, so I'll not go into detail. Here's the deal, human beings get inspiration to create by seeing new things and that is great. Your perceptions are real and your ideas about life have been expanded, but see past the surface of images of tourist stuff. Japanese music is serious and glossing over it in a fetishistic, mimicking way won't gain you anything. When you take your viable musical sketch material and link it to a video of some images that anyone visiting Japan would typically snap in the first three days you've essentially done nothing, it's posturing. If you were smart you dump it and focus on rewriting the music and not subject everyone to this because it is your "research". No one cares about a composers 'research' until after they are dead. Then some academic can make a career giving it forensic break down in a book. Don't delude yourself into thinking this is video is important to the creating of your music.

If you want to make good music, separate the touristic sentimentalism and the video from what is real music structure and do it again. Edit and re work it. The reason great composers like Debussy were able to covey impressions and make sound poems is because they have rigorous structural back grounds in composition. There are nuggets of ideas there, but it's all muddy and lacks definition and direction. You could probably get two or three short pieces out of those sketches. One could be in free time, another in a hard 4/4 beat like shamisen playing, and another in big expansive chords that form like storm clouds and then float and blow away in the wind. (Japanese music is often about nature. Write a piece about a real natural disaster like Fukushima or a mudslide that wipes out half a small town. )

What I hear is the every time you get a musical idea started you do this kind of wimpy tentative rasgeuado sweeping and that is making the idea unclear. Why not put a strong rasgueado there and give it definition to end a line and then make another one? I realize these are sketches, right, but they are meandering and need to be worked and reworked. Meandering is fine, but what landmarks anchor the meanderings? Where do you finally arrive? Does the journey have a section of peril? Did you cross an overflowing river or get hit by the lightning fast shinkansen bullet train? I'm listening and waiting for any of this to happen, but then I get wimpy rasgeaudo all over again. Do a serious couple of hard golpes in the middle of some shimmery chords to wake me up. Japanese court music does that.

You might want to listen to samisen music for rhythmic ideas, this is a lot like tangos:


Enka music is the Fado music of Japan, it's subject matter is lost love, fisherman lost at sea in great storms, and the 'butcher ran off with my wife' sort of things. It's about farming and natural disaster. A kind of blend of Western back up harmony and more Japanese melodies. You can get a lot of melodic ideas.



All these kinds of music have clarity and focus and are not just noodling around with parallel fifths.
Toru Takemitsu's guitar music is great also because he works Western and Japanese ideas and motifs together seamlessly. His guitar music is well worth study.

If you went to Spain and then did the same thing with touristy video and lobbed a bunch of Spanish cliche' together you would get laughed off the foro. You have to think of Japanese music like Spanish music and take it seriously. In Spain there's is Flamenco and all the pop music, and folk idioms and also the Zarzuela, etc. All these forms have rough counterparts in Japanese music, and more. Japanese composers cornered the market on blending East and West together because they began doing that as soon as Japan had contact with Western music several hundred years ago. The Japanese national anthem itself is a blend of traditional Japanese and Western music. There are dozens of great Japanese composers to study who synthesize East and West. And a few Westerners, notably Lou Harrison who have done the same thing.

The composer you aught to research deeply is Michio Miyagi, a blind koto player who was a composer. He's already written the music you want to make, about 60 to 80 years ago. You should study his scores and play them on the guitar. Miyagi's music will force-teach you what to do with the 7th string. If you're up for the work out.




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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 25 2015 1:50:27
 
rojarosguitar

Posts: 243
Joined: Dec. 8 2010
 

RE: Research #01 for seven strings (in reply to rojarosguitar

Stephen, many thanks for taking time to give such an exhaustive response - I greatly prefer your criticism over silence ...

I will work with your answer and see what comes up. Also thanks for your suggestions as to the Japanese music which I know only very little. I will have a look into it.

I certainly don't have the pretension to be a composer - I'm just a hobby guitar player, if you want to call it so. And very certainly not a composer any near to anybody you could name.

Anyway, I'm glad I asked my question!...

_____________________________

Music is a big continent with different lascapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

A good musical instrument is one that inspires one to express as free as possible
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 25 2015 9:52:38
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