This short piece was originally called "The Yew", being inspired by a WWOOF-ers' day at Michael's Folly in July 1998 which I spent up a ladder pruning/sculpting the Yew tree outside my round window. I wrote it on the harmonium there, but it could also be played on piano, organ, Mellotron, synthesiser, or be rearranged for other instruments.
An initially sorrowful sea shanty lament finds a spark of optimism which starts an ascending sequence of chords where one note of a triad rises by a semitone each bar (a reversed version of the descending piano chords of 'She Waits For Me In Heaven' from my Flute Sonata). This navigates through some scary keys with lots of flats, with the melody building in intensity to a jubilant ending returning to a major restatement of the initial theme.
While sifting through my recordings in preparation to remix this piece,
manifested themselves while I was
which have changed the name of the song and given it a whole new lease of
At first I thought I could try and pitch-shift the original harmonium
recording into a better tempo and more suitable key for my voice, but even
the best take is unsatisfactory. Then I wondered if I should instead practise
my piano playing and try and re-record a live piano version, but alas, my own
upright piano is not working very well and has sonic issues. So my best plan
is to notate a new electronic version using
(Lilypond frontend) playing
church organ sounds, which gives me the option of adding thunderous deep
bass pedal notes at the end. This version is mostly complete, but I just need
to add some tempo changes and dynamics to humanise the robotic rendition, then
overdub the singing.
[Scores and recordings will eventually be available]
© copyleft Malcolm Smith 2004-12-23 - last updated 2012-12-16