Monday, April 11, 2011

Dark Nocturne of the Soul

If you ever wanted to know how I feel, sit yourself down at a piano keyboard.  (Never mind that you probably don't want to know, but humor me for a few moments.)  You will already have poured yourself a healthy dose of whiskey into a highball glass containing two or three ice cubes.  Take a few sips before setting the glass down on the piano, and you might want to use a coaster.  What I want you to do now is play a C octave on the lower register and hold it for, say, four measures.  Let the low drone sustain and permeate your soul.  Good job.  As the low C is ringing out, take your right hand and arm and, starting from middle C#, press down on all the black keys that you can, from your fingers to your elbow.  Hit them moderately hard, mezzo forte.  Excellent.  Now I want you to play a C# minor major seventh cord, third inversion, as you let off the pedal.  You want that dissonance of the C and C# notes really emphasized.  You’re already making me weep and scaring me at the same time.  Nice.  Finally, I want a chord cluster with a C# octave on the bass.  The right hand will play F#, G, and C, and you’ll hold it for as long as you want.  Observe a fermata of your own choosing.  Don't forget to finish off the glass of whiskey and let your thoughts roam toward the abyss and back.