feelings for Chamber Strings – 1. forlorn
1. forlorn: The audience’s reactions
forlorn | fərˈlôrn | adjective 1 pitifully sad and abandoned or lonely: forlorn figures at bus stops. 2 (of an aim or endeavor) unlikely to succeed or be fulfilled; hopeless: a forlorn attempt to escape.
Below is a list of the words the audience posted as feelings through the 3 minutes of the piece. The most agreed upon post, anticipatory, isn’t a feeling, but rather an observation of their reaction to their feeling, probably that some kind of resolution was expected. How the listeners actually felt wasn’t quite identified.
The second most posted word was tense, which is also an observation of their body state – a word that is closer to a feeling, but is mixed with observation. Their actual feelings may have been anxious, apprehensive, distressed, disturbed, fidgety, irate, irked, irritated, restless, troubled, uncomfortable, uneasy, unhappy, unnerved, unsteady, upset or uptight. The 3rd most posted word for this movement was anxious – which is a true feeling.
- 26 feelings generated by the music: anxious disturbed unnerved concerned downcast fulfilled intense nervous amused apprehensive sad terrified curious fearful weary stimulated optimistic troubled pleased scared delighted confused eager tranquil anguished ouch (forlorn was my entry)
- 31 observations/judgements about their feelings: anticipatory anticipation tense watchful goosebumps floating uncertainty distracted unsure trepidation mysterious stress stressed oh-dear centered longing deep lost uncertain melancholy about-to-burst waiting on-edge hopeless expectant gullible used engaged cold wonder open
- 6 observations about the music: walking-bass bold floaty beautiful stringing-along what
forlorn begins with a loud, accented fortissimo sforzando unison with 9 out of ten strings, which gets quiet and glasses to the highest playable pitch by each musician, from the lowest instruments to the top. Where the violinist was once a part of a group, the group has split up and gone, leaving the violin alone, forlorn. A solo violin states a theme taken from a piece I’d written for string quintet, “winter of our discontent” that I’d always loved. But the theme has a hard time completing a phrase. Timid. Having to start over and over again, each time only getting a little further. The theme is a pair of compliment phrases, finally heard at letter A.
At letter B, I experimented with a technique to enhance dynamics through adding and subtracting instruments, mid phrase, at the unison. While the violin (doubled) plays the theme, other strings join the doubling to make those notes louder. A crescendo/descrescendo was meant to occur. The group, seeming again to have noticed the forlorn violin came in to support it by playing it’s melody have left again, leaving Violin 1 as it did in the beginning, forlorn.