Historically Accurate or Currently Audacious?
I am fascinated with half steps. If you look at modulation it’s the sharp four, the introduction of the half step, that moves a key around the circle of fifths. Isn’t it interesting that it’s the half step, the smallest interval (in Western music) that divides the octave in half? (Example: key of C moves to G by adding an F#. C to F#–the tonic to the added half step—creates the tritone.)
Looking at it in a philosophical/metaphorical sense: that which is closest to us divides us.
I know that I am often wondering, “who am I?,” “what is my purpose?,” “how do I benefit others?,” “what is my happiness?” Those questions are so close to myself that I can’t see the answers and yet those questions cause my spirit and my physical existence to be in conflict.
Well, on a musical sense I was playing with adding the slurs to only the half steps in Bach’s Allemande from his a-minor Partita (BMV1013). I found that it creates an interesting rhythmic division of the music—a syncopated, almost tango rhythm.
Here is a recording that I played on alto and entered into the low flute competition in 2019.
No, I didn’t make it to the next round! Was it my tone? My intonation? My audacious contemporary interpretation? The judges never told me why my entry didn’t move me forward. My friend, advised me to play an historic interpretation for a competition, but I just couldn’t do it. I can only live the life, play the music, that is close to my soul. As of now, it’s all about the half step!