In July we traveled for 8 days around Romania. We spent some time staying in the small village of Sărata in the foothills of the Transylvanian mountains. When it rained and we went outside with a field recorder to capture sounds in the environment. This included interacting with the nature of our surroundings, banging on a wooden door and swishing through long grass. Also locating the microphone in places of resonance such as inside a metal pipe under the street. The sounds were fresh and colloquial, thunder claps and cows bellowing accompanied by the electric hum of crickets. Our journey in Romania continued and we met a musician who played a Taragot (a clarinet on steroids), a shepherd who played a carpathian horn and a horseman who listened to music through speakers in his yard. We left with the idea of composing a soundscape from our recorded material.
We researched the construction and essence of sonata form, discovering that they are multi-movement and consist of three sections, the exposition, development, and recapitulation. The structure is often written as A-B-A but sometimes as A-B-C.
Exposition – The introduction of a theme, a bridge, and the introduction of a second theme.
Development – An opportunity to express creativity with twists and turns and rapid modulations.
Recapitulation – A return to the original theme. The Sonata is bought to an end with a closing section.
Interestingly though many classical composers broke free from this formula, as it is not a strict rule, but a loose guideline. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata is a great example of the A-B-C format, as he never returns to the original theme in the recapitulation, instead he takes the listener on yet another developmental journey.
As we composed our piece, we returned to the Moonlight Sonata many times for inspiration. The directions that Beethoven goes with this piece, with a slow and stately (adagio) beginning, a sweet and bouncy (allegretto) middle section, and a dramatically fast (presto) ending, makes it unexpected and captivating.
For our track we spliced our favourite sounds to create many sound entities. We experimented with repetition, looping and layering to create the final piece. Adding very few digital manipulations but instead enhancing an electronic sound through the cut up of recordings. We followed and broke the Sonata rules.