Re-Wind Wednesday: Ethereal Traits

Okay, so since Throwbacks seem to be more popular on Tuesdays and Thursdays (due to the alliteration), I’ve had to get a little creative with the name, but in light of this being the 5th Wednesday of the month, I thought it would be a good time to present some actual work rather than just talking about it like normal.

Owing to my crazy schedule at the moment and still slowly setting up my new space, I haven’t really penned anything concrete in recent months, however on returning to making use of my SoundCloud account again, I came across some of my older university compositions. Some good, some I question why they are still there, but they’re music nonetheless.

One piece I’ve always been strangely fond of, despite it’s simplicity was the “Ethereal Traits” suite which I wrote as part of a collaboration group later known as ‘Boxes and Chains’, in my second year as part of a joint module between the Creative Music Technology/Popular Music and Theatre & Performance/Dance degree groups.In our following year, we would lose one member and gain many more with the addition of the Digital Media group of degrees joining the module.

As part of our first production together we were tasked on creating a 15 minute performance following the theme of “Repetition, Surprise and Empty Space” and guided on this over a period of a few months.

Our performance, titled “Hello, Good Evening & Welcome!” took the shape of a game show and explored it’s stereotypes from the Hosts and Assistants, to the contestants and the components of popular shows. This suite appeared both at the beginning, during a large section of interpreted dance where each contestant was portrayed through movement and during the final few seconds from the final piece  (Which I may show at a later date).

This piece uses a combination of repeated tones to create a slow, empty and blurred atmosphere, with odd hints to the gameshow theme tune played to the audience earlier in the performance (adding further repetition). Despite the predictable nature of the piece odd changes in chord intervals add a surprise element and help to define sections between common phrases.

The piece displayed below is the 3 minute version used in the final performance. The alternative versions in the full suite include an early 2 minute version that was never used, the 30 second version bundled with our game show theme tune and the final sequence after the final piece. For those that are interested, the full soundtrack can be accessed here.




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