I began this composition with the idea of 'ostinato', which is a motif or phrase which is persistently repeated in the same musical voice. 


I'm persistently attracted to the use of ostinatos, so I found it easy to go in that direction. I tried to balance the cacophony of ostinatos with sections of chord changes- totally different textures. I wanted to contrast the more chaotic sections with sections that felt much more soothing and controlled. I usually adhere to classical concepts of beauty- the use of juxtaposing 'opposites': darkness vs light, calm vs agitated, good vs evil, soothing vs agitation, etc. 


I often begin a composition with a simple concept, like I might write a tune that changes its chord on every quarter note with very few repetitions. One idea I like is the concept that if a particular series of chord changes happens over the span of, say, 10 bars, then it can also work at a much faster rate, ie eighth notes. So a simple idea like that can give rise to a full-scale composition.


Feel free to share your criticisms and cover aspects regarding the technical recording and/or the flow of the composition.  I appreciate all feedback.


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  • Hi Doug - Nice composition. The ostinato certainly unifies the piece, and there were places where it stopped and there were smooth transitions to new material. Also, I really liked the sax sound. Was that you playing live?
  • Emily- thanks! The tune was co-written by Christopher Alpiar, who played the amazing sax part in his studio in Atlanta. Seth Burkhart added his excellent drums at Garden Rock Studio on Nantucket Isle, MA. I played bass, keys, and guitar. -doug
  • Doug: Great start!  It's got a nice basic feel to  it.  Elaborating on your comments about contrasts, I'd like to hear you include a spacier section based on some pitch centers somewhat more remote from the A modal ostinato section and using less moton. for example :


    Amodal ......... || Bbmi9 /Eb .......Eb /F / F/ G ..........Bb /C / GbMA7 5b ........ || Amodal


    just an idea ..


    BTW: Sounds like Chris has been working on shedding his chops a bit since moving to Atlaanta ..sounds really good.

  • Thanks Phil- I think you're right about getting away from the A. I'll keep that in mind for future works. I really like Chris's improvs. Most of what you hear in this piece, were what he called 'warming up'.  :)
  •  ...mmm ..a "woody" ?


    still , I hope your hegira  across the pond was successful, refreshing, and also gave you a  woody .... :)

  • Hey- welcome home and glad you like the recording. In the near future, I'll re-listen to the mix and make some adjustments. ..Is the sax really too prominent? I guess I need to hear it with fresh ears. I'm doing some photography today, and then on to a couple of newer tunes with Seth's drums from February.
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