Recent Compositions by DC Meckler reflecting various popular and world music influences

 

 

Piano Quartet No. 1 “Thickets”

for piano quartet (violin, viola, cello, piano), 2013

total duration about 11 minutes

perusal score pdf and synthesized mp3 audio demos available; contact the composer for the most current versions and parts formatted to suit your preferences.

 

                                          I.         Pop Thicket mp3

                                        II.         broken passacaglia mp3

                                      III.         Thicket Three mp3

                                       IV.         Thicket Four mp3

 

This piece reflects the quick changes and contrasts of the inner me.  The beginning plunges into music seemingly already in progress.  The first movement form follows the pop music verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-verse-chorus pattern, although variations in dynamics may slightly disguise that.  The passacaglia breaks at its climax, adding rhythmic length and more chords to the initial passacaglia pattern.  Canonic play and rhythmic fragmentation make up the scherzo.  The last movement cycles through its ideas twice.  It begins with brooding D minor chords tormented by an insanely happy F# major motif and ends with an enigmatically bare piano accompaniment figure (which incidentally summarizes the harmonic progression of the entire four-movement piece).

 

 

 

The Balsafunk Series

 

Balkan+salsa+funk = Balsafunk. 

 

A set of pieces sharing the same core instrumentation (flute, trombone, congas, piano, bass) and core concerns – groove and distortions of and departures from groove.  Storm the day could also be considered as a part of this series. 

 

Balsafunk No. 2 “El Grande”

for flute, bass clarinet, trombone, percussion (2), piano and bass, 2012

duration about 8 minutes

Perc 1: guiro, triangle, Vibraphone; Perc 2: congas.

 

score pdf and synthesized mp3 (7.6 MB) audio demo available; contact the composer for parts and the most current versions.   “El Grande” because it is the longest one of the set.

 

 

Balsafunk No. 3 “A glimpse around the corner”

for flute, violin, cello, trombone, percussion (congas), piano and bass, 2012

duration about 3 minutes

score pdf and synthesized mp3 (3 MB) audio demo available; contact the composer for parts and the most current versions.  The film noir installment in the Balsafunk series.  At each turn in the piece, an abundance of thematic material confronts the listening detective – what is the piece really about?

 

Balsafunk No. 4 “Question Time”

for flute, trombone, percussion (2), piano and bass, 2012

duration about 7 minutes

Perc 1: congas, kick drum, guiro; Perc 2: marimba, bongos, triangle

 

score pdf (337 KB) and synthesized mp3 (6.9 MB) audio demo available; contact the composer for parts and the most current versions. Rhythmic and groovy but never quite in focus, with always something a little off.  A cha-cha-huh? 

 

 

Storm the day

for violin, percussion (congas and Vibraphone), and piano, 2012

duration about 4 minutes

score pdf (266 KB) and synthesized mp3 (4.6 MB) audio demo available; contact the composer for parts and the most current versions.

 

 

YOUTH

piano quintet (2 violins, viola, cello, piano) 2011

duration about 6 ½ minutes

score pdf and synthesized mp3 (5.9 MB) audio demo available; contact the composer for parts and the most current versions.  Brahms and dubstep? (Katy B’s “On a Mission”) 

 

 

Five Poptudes for String Quartet, 2011

 

Desatunado 

= mp3 = pdf score

My Heart Pours Forth Irregular Melodies

= mp3 = pdf score

not so softly

= mp3 = pdf score

Noteville

= mp3 = pdf score

Coco Rub

= mp3 = pdf score

 

Each piece is about 2 minutes long

These pieces may be played individually or in any combination or order. 

 

score pdf and synthesized mp3 audio demos available (see above links); contact the composer for parts and the most current versions.

 

 

Rhythmic Suite From My Diary, 2010

 

1. Folded Flows and Arias – a very process oriented piece that arrives at melody.
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2. Small Offering to ThaliaHadyn meets the whole tone scale, and an example of an interrupted retrograde.  (I often listen to Haydn piano sonatas while I drive to work, and when I happen to combine that influence with lecturing on Debussy & the whole tone scale, "Small Offering to Thalia” is the result.) 
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3. Quiet Tangle – canons, exact repetition, abrupt change, dorky diatonic melody, 12-tone rows, regular rhythms and rhythms that are very tangled.
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4. Post-Intellectual Music – inspired by West African bell patterns; the title is from a conversation with the dedicatee of the piece, Jarek Kapuscinski.
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5. Ten’s Time – a blending of Indian (drone, tala, raga, rhythmic patterns playing out to coincide with the rhythmic cylce) and Arab (rhythmic mode) with a touch of Stravinskian major-minor play.  The rising minor third that occurs as a cadential figure is to me a quotation from a recording of a taksim by Munir Bashir that I use in my lectures about Arab music. 
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6. Weird Blues – title says it all.  "Weird Blues" came about after lecturing on the origin of the blues, probably in MUS 100.
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Call It A Frolic, 2012

for piano trio plus percussion (congas); percussion is optional

duration about 3 ½ minutes

score pdf and synthesized mp3 audio demo available; contact the composer for parts and the most current versions.

 

Tricky rhythm lurks under the easy listening surface of this piece.  A slightly funky pattern in 7/8 is folded into 5/4 bars in 2- and 3-bar phrases, with a contrasting middle section.  A poppish chord progression (I V ii flat-III) is used, with the flat-III acting as a substitute dominant.  In the key of F, that creates a tension between A and Ab; the second section of the piece is in Ab Minor (G# Minor), and the recapitulation of the first section is in A.  In the coda, the strings draw out the A/Ab and C/C# pitch conflicts. 

 

 

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