Seven Dreams: a motif

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:

an 11-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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *