This piece draws upon part of a poem I wrote a few months ago.
I chose a 5/8 meter for this improvisation, utilising 4 chords – two variants of quartal harmony (D quartal triad [C5/D] and a variant with an added note [Fsus2/D]) acting as the harmonic tension, and two variants of tertian harmony (D tertiary triad [D] and variant [Dsus4] acting as the tonic.
I chose the 5/8 time signature as it allowed a nice mixture of block chords and arpeggiated variation in each bar. This is because of the combination of simple and compound beats (1, 2; 1, 2, 3). While the piano carries the core rhythm, the flute acts as an interlude between phrases. The voice (doubled by a ‘chorus’ sound from Sibelius) carries the melody with original lyrics.
When approaching this improvisation, I explored tension and release through the chords and melody. This was done by improvisation on the piano, before being penned. In hindsight, I should have started in a key that better suited my voice. Transposing the composition down a major 4th would have fixed this issue, however this new range does not suit the flute part and loses the interesting harmonic clash, which arises from the higher pitched notes. As such, this song would be best performed with a soprano vocalist.
On that note, if there are any soprano vocalists out there who want to collaborate, I’d love to get a better recording of this!