zaterdag 3 maart 2012

Compulsive Eighths

Eight has got to be one of the strangest spelled words in English.  Especially if you take it to the next level, or to be more exact the pre-next level, it totally fractures.  When you think about it the whole way musical notation is set up on the basic level is strange: One beat is not a beat, in our most basic Western structure it is a quart.  Based on the idea one beat is nothing, it's just part of the larger whole - a measure-, consisting of three or four beats. And in case one measure is three beats (3/4 beat) we still call that 3'd measure ie one beat a quart.
Crazy, huh?  Now get into overdrive and you get half beats: eighths.  Still that word looks wrong, but I've checked and at least óne dictionary says that is the proper way to spell it.  Still it looks wrong.  Over-achieving.

Just like a large part of this piece.  Eighths marching on, twofold.  Two-voice invention I could name it.  And it is, mostly.  It felt like a race to keep up with the input from who knows where.  Compulsive eighths, going on and on.  Up to a certain point where my mind just tripped over my hands.  Tripped in the oldfashioned sense of stumbling over a rock or threshold ( <--there's another weird spelling of a word if ever...). 

That's where Bach's spirit got fed up with tonality, and in Grateful Dead-terms 'Space' starts.  And there we're back to the dichotomy of words, even when not intended in the first place.  About as intricate as these sentences have braided into strangeness do the compulsive eighths in todays episode.  Enjoy.

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