The things we love, we want to Idolize
And place upon a pedestal of Brass,
Yet our dear Hearts, tricked by revering eyes,
Are blinded by the mirrors of our pasts;
We see naught like, save what we wish to see,
And with deaf ears deflect the pleas of Truth,
And when the sight of what we’d thought to be
Is shattered Right, we drown in miser’s Ruth,
Whilst all around us ruin hath been made,
And up above us Ash begins to fall,
Yet still we grieve for Tears that We pervade,
And not the Doom that we have brought to Call;
Thus so we cry for what was lost from Me,
And fail to see the Truer Tragedy.
– Sonnet by Christine
This is the first major project that I, Maggie Williamson, have decided to put up on this site. The piece below is a reaction to the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Shakespeare’s ‘Coriolanus’, which Christine and I saw in London in January 2014. The music is computer generated, (not recorded with real performers); I don’t yet have the means to get professionals.
That said, please listen to this piece before reading what is underneath the Internet player. I want you to come to your own conclusions about its story before I tell you why I made some of the choices I did in the section below.
P.S. any feedback is greatly appreciated, as I am still a fledgling.
2/13/14 update: Maggie’s first expansion, (revised), on the Coriolanus Concept Album is here for perusal! Here’s the mp3 direct download: Innocent Petals. And here’s the player:
1/29/14 update: Maggie wants to let everyone know that she’s working with her teachers on some improvements to this piece, and that sometime later in the term a newer version will be available. When that happens, we’ll mention it in: Zounds! An Update!
Direct download the Coriolanus Concept Title.
Or listen below:
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Okay, now for the fun bit, (if you’re like me and like to analyze everything).
There are eight main melodies that are constant throughout the piece.
• Caius Marcius – This has bouncy Sixteenth notes and is very straight forward, no hidden key changes, voiced mostly by the First Violin.
• Tullus Aufidius – The exact mirror of Caius Marcius since they are both warriors who understand one another. Two sides of the same coin/an obsession. When put together, they tend to want to go into a different key.
• Menenius Agrippa – This is in ¾ and is mostly voiced in the Cello, grounded, full of stability and reason.
• The Masses/Junius Brutus – These two are characterized by a run of either eighth notes or sixteenth notes that, when layered, sounds like organized chaos.
• Sicinius Velutus – This is the same run as above, but a few notes are changed so that it sounds out of place with the rest of the piece.
• Volumnia – Filled with grace notes to depict her way with words coupled with a descending line that gives no space for argument.
• Virgilia – two notes that rock back and forth to show her inability to speak out and her hesitation.
• Coriolanus – The beginning section full of innocence, the ideal warrior, coupled with the sadness of reality and what giving the name Coriolanus to Caius Marcius ultimately does to him.
Order of events in the piece, and short explanations:
2. Caius Marcius
3. Caius Marcius and Tullus Aufidius
4. Caius Marcius smothers Tullus Aufidius’ theme
5. Caius Marcius
6. Caius Marcius – echoed through all the instruments, indicating the people love him
7. Junius Brutus – drawing the Masses’ attention to Marcius’ way of speaking to them
8. Sicinius Velutus – here and there, emphasizing the dissonance of hatred
9. Menenius Agrippa – once to quiet the Masses
10. Menenius Agrippa and Volumnia – trying to influence the public, more instruments copy them.
11. Caius Marcius tries to copy their political way with words – High first Violin
12. The Masses/Junius Brutus – interrupting his attempt
13. Caius Marcius – his theme restored, he’s given up trying to be what he’s not
14. Caius Marcius, The Masses/Junius Brutus, Menenius Agrippa, and Volumnia – all at the same time, each not listening to the others
15. Tullus Aufidius – comes in while they’re not listening to each other, signifying his alliance with Caius Marcius
16. Volumnia’s theme, without grace notes, repeated over and over again – signifying her pleading
17. Caius Marcius makes up his mind to save the city, if only for his mother, wife, and son – music changes meter, and the theme from the beginning comes back
18. Caius Marcius’ theme in the right key over the Coriolanus theme. Aufidius’ theme comes in, in a different key, and tries to over take Caius’ theme, but ends up being broken to pieces.
19. Last dissonant chord is Cauis’ last victory over Aufidius.
20. Last two chords are Cauis’ death.
All in 7:35 seconds!
A Sisters’ Exchange
Christine: I want you to finish writing your new version of the Innocence so that you can write the new Caius Marcius theme, so you can give me the new Caius Marcius theme. Then I can play Caius Marcius on my violin, and then I can speak Caius Marcius while playing Caius Marcius, because you can do that with violins.
Maggie: Oh my God, Tinie. That’s way too much Caius Marcius.