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[Recollection] - Isarios

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Credits & Info

Jan 14, 2010 | 12:16 AM EST
File Info
4.7 MB
5 min 9 sec
2.81 / 5.00

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Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.

Rated 2.81 / 5 stars
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657 Plays | 36 Downloads
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Author Comments

Lost to time, in the darkness' gleam,
Only a memory left, acid-etched on recollective glass.
Dulling for clarity, nay, was it but a whimsic' dream?
Of a midnight blue dress, and a smiling lass.

The story behind Recollection is the memory of a dance party with a girl in a midnight blue dress. The beginning starts out plain to represent the initial remembering of the music of the dance and feel of the night. The music suddenly comes back to mind but it is not as good as it was before. It comes crashing down as memory fails to bring back the exactness of the event with a chord that states the depression of "it's over".

The narrator then remembers the conversation, symbolized by the counterpoint writing in the middle section. He is still of abject sadness of the fact that the night is over. Yet he cannot help but slowly remember the joy of the experience and the music again returns to him.

Finally, by the single glow of the light in the room, in the dead of night, he dances again alone... and yet not alone, for the girl in the midnight dress accompanies him in his memories.

Miscellaneous because its jazz/swing in a chamber setting. Not quite so classical.

Note the use of orchestral kettle drums (timpani).

Orchestration: Flute, Clarinet 1, Clarinet 2, Cello, Timpani, Vibraphone, Tom Toms, Tambourine.

Playback: Finale 2008 MDI (sorry!).

(playback in seconds)
(begin / end)


Recollection is a thematically based piece with a jazz/swing flavor created for a chamber music ensemble. It states a few themes and then reiterates them in variations, different moods, and in mixture with other themes. The overarching theme (T') of the piece is the minor 6th of (0;00 / 0;06). The other main themes are (T1) (0;16 / 0;29), (T2) (0;30 / 0;43), (T3) (0;44 / 0;55). The [VII6/5] of (T1) is bounded by (T'). The beginning of (T2) is the same interval as (T'). (T3) does not correlate to (T').

(1;10) begins a variation of (T2). (T1) is reiterated in a different key; this time as an ending. (2;00 / 3;12) works with (T'), (T2) and (T3). (3;13) reiterates a variation of (T2) and mixes in a variation of (T'). (T3) returns in the same somber mood as the rest of the variations at (3;13). At (4;03), (T1) brings the piece back to the more cheery feeling and progresses into the mixing of the themes at (4:20). At (4:34), the piece climaxes with the direct use of counterpoint in double melodies by reiterating (T3) at the top of the flute range over (T2). The piece ends with a recall of (T') using the bottom of the clarinet range.

The [iM9] chord is of special concern in this piece. It is derived from the notes of (T') over the tonic chord. ( C Eb G Bb D ). It is used to evoke sadness at (0:58) and shifts the mood of the piece from exuberant to contemplative/sad. It also finishes the piece, as a direct derivation of (T') over [i]. It is the same chord (except with an added 7th) with the same emotional functionality as the dissonant [vi +2] chord in American Elegy by Frank Ticheli.

This piece also attempts to change keys in a subtle manner. It does this by blurring the line between one key and another by borrowing notes from each other. Some areas may be considered bitonal (influence of Stravinsky) such as at (2:00).

Instrumentation of Recollection arose from a limited selection of instruments at the San Francisco Conservatory's Summer Music West Composition Intensive Program. Because of the jazzy feel of the song, clarinets were chosen as the main instruments. Cello provided a completely different voice timbre, and Percussion+Timpani rounded out the remainder of the instrumentation. The use of timpani was an experiment in using the instrument to play a bass line in a small ensemble. Percussion added color to the piece.
Although controversial (in chamber use), the swung rhythm of the piece exemplified the role of the piece as a story telling medium.



Rated 5 / 5 stars

This should be under classical

But this has a really italian kind of feel to it. Must be the accordian.

I love how long it is. Someone should definitely make a video for this

Isarios responds:

Haha thank you =)
actually there isnt an accordion... but maybe youre thinking vibraphone? or clarinet?

Hmm, what does italian music sound like?