'POSTLUDE' AND OTHER NONSENSE
by JENNIFER PAULL
'Sky poets paint the sheltered curve to find' is a (double) rondo. This implies that my subject(s) return at regular intervals. It is the most 'round' of all musical forms as its title suggests. Mine is a double rondo with two recurring themes (rainbows [or curves] and pivots).
Between each (re)statement I expose my theme, link it to a second subject or slightly modified pivot angle of itself, and thus argue it through to a relative degree of the scale. The strongest is the fifth or the dominant. Should I compare two equal weights, I use the formula, dominant/tonic (V-I). The tonic key is home base, that of the rainbows (or curves) and pivots. The sub-dominant (fourth degree) is obtuse, the second (supertonic), is weak -- a sort of en passant flavour etc. Each degree of the scale (there are seven) has a tonal 'mood' rainbow of its own, and a relative minor expression of itself.
Sometimes, I argue a theme and then work the subject backwards as with Marcel Marceau's 'are words really necessary to communication?' I also argue for and against linguistic/folkloric elements. Positive/negative: forwards/backwards. This is not question and answer it is question and anti-question.
I expose three subjects simultaneously (Burgess, Justice, Bowles), with cross-references to multi-artistic talent. I envisage this as a three-part fugue within the boundaries of a three part invention.
In this instance, I introduce a relative minor (which is a minor third lower than the tonic major) with the Bowles/Calder link. Calder is linked to Bowles through two themes.
- Obituary, (hence my introduction of the tonic minor as in an implied Funeral Mass).
- Autobiography (dominant major's relative minor) -- in that I criticise Calder's
present (not past) expression, not head on (as a tonic minor would be), but at
a distance and with retrospection (the dominant major's relative minor is far
removed, somewhat remote): 'projected upon a screen of celestial muslin'.
Past illustrations of Calder's work (poetry, creativity etc), flash by transposed
into related major key rankings.
I also introduce greatness in a minor key -- van Gogh and Satie (through their inner anguish).
I use three leitmotivs: travel, language and Cage's presence as a mountain echo.
Cadenzas are the composer's own themes (mine in this case as author), re-quoted in a different place and context in a reworked setting of their thematic content. Again, in an attempt to keep to roundness, I do this three times.
Copyright © 6 March 2005
Jennifer I Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland