feelings for Chamber Strings – 2. ebullient
ebullient | iˈbo͝olyənt, iˈbəlyənt | adjective 1 cheerful and full of energy: she sounded ebullient and happy. 2 archaic (of liquid or matter) boiling or agitated as if boiling: misted and ebullient seas.
The audience responses
The most posted word was celebration, which is an observation about the music – since we don’t feel celebration but observe and react to it. The next most posted words for this movement were energized – which is version of the feeling energetic, playful and happy. 29 feelings were posted, the rest of the posts were not as useful.
- 29 feelings generated by the music: playful happy moved jittery proud enthusiastic gleeful curious invigorated joyous effervescent involved bubbly good-humored euphoric nervous carefree excited confident hopeful alive eager dazzled invigorated enthused inquisitive astonished breathless grateful adventurous free
- 46 observations/judgements about their feelings: hyper jovial childish hurry preorgasmic delighted vivacious light-hearted whimsical awake brave focused delirious accomplished motivated exuberant playful engaged distracted groovy giddy live dizzy empowered lit fun distracted caffeinated plucky spirited overstimulated holiday striving sleepy hype cheeky young mirthful insecure yasssss preoccupied tease touched remembering bow-dacious whole
- 15 observations about the music: celebration dense morning-market A1 movement busy whirlwind fiddle flowing-stream accelerated steady scattered go deer buildup
- 2 observations about the event: distracted-by-words look-a-squirrel
This second movement of feelings for 10 Strings more than any other movement was scored to take advantage of directional space. Whereas the orchestra was shaped in a large U, it imitated my original design:
Throughout the piece, figures move from left to right and right to left to make spatial movement a thematic factor. The first of these figures appears in the opening bars, as 3 16th notes pizzicatos that move from Violi L1 to Violin L2, Violin R2 and Violin R1. An original element of the figures included a quick glissando on the third pizz. This was taken out for performance to improve intonation and rhythmic accuracy (not to mention playability!). I thought the gliss would add a bubbly element, a happy, funny boing-boing. The pizz also gave way to hammer-on slurs and pull-offs, not common in the string literature, but made common by guitar music. That seemed to present little problem. Another important figure presented early in the piece was a fluid run of scalar material in 32nd notes under a single bow. Tonally, the idea of all of music sticking to a single major key center – then moving from it by moving the center up or down a half-step by surprise – becomes apparent in the 4th bar. This happens quite often throughout the short piece.
The introduction material takes us to the first melody, heard in the low strings: a set of 16th notes that start of on the 3rd of the home key triad, and expand via neighbor tones into a statement of the home triad. The melody statement does not continue, and the music goes back to the building of energetic short ideas, repeated, which is the predominate development of this movement.
At D, a new element of rapid multi-octave arpeggios are added to the texture, as well as the next statement of the melody. The textures build in dynamic energy until E where a fragment of the main melody idea is repeated in low strings tutti, playing with the half-step tonal center shifts. At F, new contrasting music consisting of a rhythmic, guitar-like strumming of chords in the violins accompanied by block triadic harmonies in the low strings.
These materials continue to build in intensity and a climbing tessitura until the end, where a solid C major chord is expected, but where we get a surprise Db major chord, instead. I thought this ending was really funny.