Passacaglia - 'Pasar Muchas Calles' - or the multidimensional Passacaglia

'Pasar Muchas Calles' or The Multidimensional Passacaglia


This article was written to provide a little context and information about the structure and concept about the 'Passacaglia' I've written, which was released in mid-2015. Refering back to the 'Wave Fractal' I've written about somewhere else, this article will attempt to showcase how I've used the concepts outlined in aforementioned article to work with an 'old' form and how to take it's formal structures, adapt them and 'transform' them into something new, yet still cleary upholding and growing within the original structure.

The Form of Many Streets

The 'original definition' (original in the sense that that's how I understodd it when working with it, not how traditions or histories would conceive of them) of the 'Passacaglia' I was working with when working on the concept was a piece with a recurring set of Bassnotes (a short definition I was given by a friend of mine). Starting with those bassnotes as a sort of 'recurring block of information', I took that block and started filling it with information – starting right with the question 'What notes should be repeated?'. Now, instead of defining a series of notes by concrete Pitch name, I decided to 'split' the information into two qualities – Input in terms of Scale Material (church modes in this case), and then to move through the material along the overtonerow (going from consonant to dissonant 1-5-4-3-6-b3-b6-b7-2-7-b2-Tritonus). The Order in which the Scale Material appeared was determined by terms of 'Consonance/Dissonance Sum', also determined by overtonerow. This way, I had built upon the original block a 'bigger structure' which also ordered harmonic and melodic information to a certain degree. Furthermore, I designed a specific dynamic Form for each section, therefore providing more structural information to the whole framework.

However, in order to have 'more than just waves' I implemented another concept within those blocks, which is 'somewhat' modeled after sonata movement. The concrete derivation that I used was a short exposition, followed by a longer 'processing', ending with a conclusion, after which the exposition was repeated. The motivation behind this was to create a sort of link with the tradition of classical music, as well as to have another ordering element within the piece besides 'just the wave forms'.

The Form of the whole piece finally then looked like this:
°Exposition (concluding a sort of miniature version of the whole piece)
°7 aforementiond 'blocks', working through the provided information in 'pseudo-sonata style'
°a middle section without much content as a 'pole against the rest', after which the
°original 7 'blocks' appeared again, howered in reverse order mirrored against the middle section
°A repetition of the Exposition
°And finally what I would call an 'Elimination Finale', in which I tried to 'fuse' all the Expositions to then end it all on the original first Root note of E

It is also worth noting that I tried to use many Pieces of other musicians as inspiration and points of reference how to exactly model the 'blocks' – also, I at some points didn't totally 100% strictly follow every Input, but tried instead to stay 'in close proximity', as I think there is something to not totally give in to structural requirements and 'just to go with it' (which probably sounds weird coming from someone who spent this much time thinking up new requirements). Since I wanted to point out structural elements in this article, I will pass on going into further detail about references and the 'degree of proximity' I worked with.


So finally, we come back to the title of this article – why was it called 'Pasar Muchas Calles' ('Passing many streets')? Well, the original was apparently named after the expression 'passing a street' in reference to the repeated series of root notes – and since I tried to add more information and aspects into this basic concept, I basically ended up with a concept which allows to 'cross many streets' with one block by not only going through the Bass Notes, but also the dynamic sequence, as well as melodic and harmonic information. And by adding a reference structure (the sonata thing) it even provides enough context that we might call it a 'City Tour Passacaglia' (I'm really big on bad puns btw). But beside the bad naming, by working with the mentioned concepts, we were able to come up with a relatively simple structure that just by it's form covered a lot aspects, opposites and even added a little bit of tradition in between. Also, I think that providing somewhat of an outlay of how I approached writing the 'Passacaglia' might benefit or inspire other people – beside obvious self-promotion and marketing purposes, which were so obviously badly hidden that I don't really feel like it's necessary to go into detail about them here.
Passacaglia is available on iTunes, Amazon, Google, and a lot of other cool places – support through purchasing one copy is very much appreciated.

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