My final composition is a four movement piece inspired by the subject of climate change. The first three movements, Rain, Fire and Wind were created to convey the beauty of each element. They were composed to remind listeners of how beautiful each element is on their own. In the fourth movement, Finale, it is meant to sound like chaos and panic. We humans are stripping away the natural beauties of the earth and making a mess of it. Mess, that is what the final movement is all about.
In Rain, the notes are supposed to mimic rain drops. Rhythm played the key element in achieving this. The melody line is written in eighth notes for the majority of the piece and augments or descends at no more than an interval of a third with a few exceptions. This helps bring a bouncy and happy feeling to the piece, portraying rain the way a Disney movie would. The timbre of the Celesta also creates this effect. The final chord has a clash that is meant to build tension to be resolved in the next bar, but instead, it is used as a transition to the next piece. It lets the listeners know that there is more to come.
Fire is the second movement of the piece. Although it is dark, it is purposeful to displaying the beautiful dangers of fire. It’s brilliant how something so simple can be so dangerous. This movement is written in the key of A minor, bringing a dark feel from the beginning. I used brass and lower end instruments primarily to bring a warmer feel. Warm, like fire. Part way through, the timpani plays a dotted quarter and sixteenth note rhythm, representing a heartbeat. This can be interpreted in various ways and is intended to be. One way I like to see it is fire is the heart of the earth, because it literally is. In the center of the earth, there is a ball of fire. The chords in this song were inspired by Mars from The Planets by Gustav Holst. To me, mars and fire have correlating energies which is why the chords were made the way they were. Dynamics also added to the dramatic effect of the fire effect.
What better way to represent wind than by using wind instruments? Especially woodwinds. Woodwind instruments have the ability to be stunningly whimsical, just like the wind. Here, tempo was crucial. The slowness brings a calmness to the music. Wind can be known as calming. The swung sixteenths give it a Celtic feel which is intentional. I have an image in my head of someone doing a Celtic dance in a field while the wind is blowing the long grass around, swaying with the dancer. Personally I feel that if I were to pick a dance to associate with wind, Celtic dance would be it.
For the Finale, using a combination of three four time signature and a bit of syncopation, the opening line is supposed to fill listeners with panic. The panic build with the help of the harmony in violin two. Then the melody changes and starts to get disjunct. It’s a transition from the previous melody, to the Rain melody. The same thing repeats for Fire and Wind. It’s giving us a little listen back to what used to be, reminding us that not matter how bad things in our climate become, we need to have the image in our brains of what a clean world can look like. It is best to work towards something with a positive attitude, rather than a pessimistic attitude.