Sir Christémas: first verse

Continuing my organic exploration of the text of my selected carol, “Sir Christémas,” I have arrived at the end of the first stanza. I think.

I decided that the opening, though delightful, had about reached the limit of human tolerance for tinkly triplets. Dotted quarters, offset with syncopated figures in the bass, were called for, I thought. That led naturally into a slow setting of the first line of the first verse, “I am here, Sir Christ(é)mas,” followed by quiet little “trumpet calls” on the next line, “Welcome, my lord, Sir Christ(é)mas!” Not bad at all.

Actually, I had blocked out the melody in the basses of the first line last night, but when I listened to it tonight it sounded like a natural extension, a response, to the intro, and it needed to sound like an opening of a stanza so that when I repeated it, the audience would recognize it as a signpost, as it were. I changed it to more strong sound.

I double-checked the next three verses to see if my structure could be applied to the first two lines of those and still make musicosyntactical sense. I think it can. With a moderate amount of force.

The last line of the trio I thought needed something a little crescendo-y, so I took that ascending chromatic line at the end of the intro and used that. I’m not sure about it, but it’s a place holder at least.

My plan at this point is break into a pointillistic “Nowel, Nowel!” after each verse, modifying each with different chromatic lenses and with different coloristic strategies in the celesta. Wow, that actually sounds like I know what I’m talking about. Wait, I do know what I’m talking about. Wow, that actually sounds like I could intentionally effect that about which I know I’m talking. Or something.

::sigh:: Just listen.

3 thoughts on “Sir Christémas: first verse

  1. In the interest of injecting the tiniest bit of humility into this exercise (“to create is among the greatest acts of audacity”), there was one brief sequence in this piece where some part of me heard “…Yo, ho, yo, ho, a pirate’s life for me…” Seriously.

    I still like it. Even if it does shamelessly riff on a copyrighted work of Walt Disney.

  2. I just listened again to be sure. On my screen, the little marker is almost exactly half way thru when the 4 note “yo ho” section hits.

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