Saltatus De Lamiae (Dance of the Snake Demon) - Fantasy for String Quartet in 3 parts
I - Presto This first section is a bit oddball. It is in some rather odd times and the harmony is meant to be jarring. It fallows a pattern - 1st measure is 7/8, the next is 5/8, the next is 9/8. The accents of the cello and violin 1 are at odds with the accents of the viola and violin 2. Harmonically I played around with tritones and chromatic movements. I'm not sure what it is termed but the whole song has a minor feel with but turns around to a major on the last chord, which is something I love
II - Largo This section sets up a triplet feel with violin 2 and violin 1 and the cello pushing on the downbeats with triplets in places but the viola keeps a mostly steady 8th note rhythm. I like it cause it pushes the rhythm making it feel like someone off balance. The song moves modally based off of a G7 with the 3rds in the melody hinting at minor and the 3rds in the viola hinting at major but I tried to avoid the 3rds and attempted to focus more on the 2nds and 4ths using the tritone to push the chord at the end of each measure and the end has a chordal movement Eb D Csus2 G which spells out a minor 6th if I'm not mistaken.
III - Allegro This last song is from a bass line I invented at a jam with a funk band.. I turned it into this song as it fit a melody I have had bouncing around in my brain for years. the harmonic structure on this one is very simple and is kept in G minor. I had much fun designing the triplet syncopation.
some notes on the title and theme of the composition
Saltatus is a type of dance. I'm not sure about what type of dance or really any history on the word. I came across it using translation software while trying to find cool Latin words to represent Dance of the Demon.
In ancient Greek mythology, Lamia (Greek: Λάμια) was a beautiful queen of Libya who became a child-eating daemon. Said to have a serpent's tail below the waist.
Later traditions referred to many lamiae, folkloric monsters similar to vampires and succubi that seduced young men and then fed on their blood. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamia_(mythology)
So the title is (arguably) Latin for Dance of the Snake Demon.. or something like that..
but at least you have an idea of the visualization for the piece =)