A third thing I’m playing with for the opening of Seven Dreams of Falling is motifs, and the first motif is one that I used in Six Preludes (no fugues) for “Prelude (no fugue) No. 6.”
I got this from Sid Lonegren’s Labyrinths: ancient myths and modern uses (p. 139). He takes an eleven-circuit labyrinth:
…and labels the circuits with the notes of the chromatic scale, starting with A on the outside circuit and ending with G# at the center. When you walk the path, you encounter the notes in the order C# – A# – B – C – A – D – G – E – F – F# – D# – G#, which I have transposed down a half-step for the above motif.
It is of course a 12-tone row of serial music infamy, but when you play it there’s a definite tonal, if chromatic, pattern to it. I mean, look at the penultimate measure: it outlines a V7 chord, of all things, leading straight back to our tonic note. You may hear it in the “Prelude (no fugue) No. 6” here.
So I’m thinking it would be a valid thing to use this motif as a major element in an opera that centers in part on a labyrinth (technically a maze1). The question will be how to do so. (I’m already thinking about
stealing incorporating some of the prelude.)
1 A labyrinth is unicursal: it has only one path to the center. You cannot get lost in a labyrinth. A maze is a puzzle; you would need Ariadne’s thread to get back out.