Hello friends – I’m back with another installment of “Behind the Tracks“, a series of stories behind the music on my new album “Enter The Fadolín” (available now as a download, as a home-made autographed CD-R, and a collection of sheet music).
This time it’s about a track called “A Nocturne” — hear it below:
“A Nocturne” was the final addition to the album, composed on July 4 2021 in a Catskills (New York) bungalow colony (dacha community) while our neighbors were having a big Independence Day party with Sinatra on full blast on their little Bluetooth boombox a few feet away. I wrote this piece while listening to my beloved SimplyNoise in headphones. It’s a familiar genesis that this piece shares with “Baltic Melismas” and two pieces on the front of the album — they were written in places where background music was playing, at a venue of much activity, with headphones on.
(It should be no surprise that background music of any kind — even if it’s wonderful, which it often is — is an occupational hazard to composers. It’s not possible to write or contemplate music while listening to something with musical content. (Try writing an important email while listening to a podcast.) Background music is a form of punishment – it robs us of our freedom to listen to the world as we hear it, and forces us to experience something with a soundtrack against our own feelings. I realize it looks odd when I’m sitting somewhere with big headphones, appearing to ignore the world around me – but I’m trying to listen to it instead, listen to the world in my own musical voice.)
“A Nocturne” — (originally titled “A Nocturne?”, in homage to Conlon Nancarrow’s “Tango?“) was inspired by trying to find a progression of cascading passages that start out in the range of the violin and make their way to the bottom of the fadolín, to practice blending the colors of the lower strings. It’s notated in a free-time, aleatoric manner. The top notes of the passages spell out a little melody.
Here’s a performance of “A Nocturne” from our kitchen that I posted earlier this year.
Enjoy and thank you!
||> See a playlist videos of Ljova’s new music released during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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