July 28, 2018
Čoček describes a family of traditional Rom (Gypsy) dances from the southern Balkans. Most čočeks are in 4/4 rhythm, although 7/8 and 9/8 versions are also common. http://andybettis.com/dance/steps/Chochek.html
Čoček was composed between February and July of this year. The main theme
was completed at the end of May.
Every effort was made to stay within the confines of a traditional Gypsy scale
And the rhythm has a pulse in 4/4 time that is strictly a čoček rhythm.
4/4 = 3+3+2
After a retreat to Mt. Shasta California I composed a B section that I now refer to
as “The Mount Shasta Interlude”. It begins on the recording at 2:10. As this style
is prominent in the repertoire of many Romani brass bands, I added a 4 measure chord with French horns. It then returns to the A section theme played on solo violin and santur concluding with a 9 note coda.
The forces employed combine traditional Roma instruments with orchestra.
This fusion of genres could be labeled as “Neoclassical-Gypsy”.
Čoček is available from CD Baby® at this link:
January 10, 2018
I do not fit in a box
When I am asked, “What is it that you do?” and I reply that I compose music, the almost obligatory response is “What kind of music do you write?”
The Music Industry is largely to blame for the cultural categorization of music and the mental programming of listeners to choose which predetermined classification fits in best with their social mask. It is certainly more difficult to seek out obscure music that might be a revelation to the listener than it is to be a consumer of highly profitable, predictable product that is spoon-fed to your specified demographic.
This is not the exclusive practice of the commercial realm. Prominent music education organizations regulate that some pieces of music performed for competition must be by a composer not of American birth. This perpetuates the arcane notion that only European institutions can produce composers of any serious merit.
The Arts do not require categorization.
There are as many types of music as there are those who create it.