Imagine a monster who comes to your window at night. He speaks in a polyphonic voice, and asks how you are doing. He loves talking to you, and you love it too but he never lets you see him. He is afraid his appearance will make you hate him. But on some nights, when the moon is bright enough, you can see his silhouette through the curtains: a humanoid shape with large, feathered wings.
is the fifth album by band Summoning. It was released in 31 October.
This release was a kind of combination between the old and new style of Summoning, with the keyboard lines being more epic and polyphonic while the guitars bore a similarity with the more complex and rock-esque guitar-style from Stronghold. This time the band used more spoken-word samples to bring a more dramatic style to the songs and for the first time the band works with clear vocal choirs on the song “Farewell”. The lyrical concept again was totally based on Tolkien’s Middle-earth, but for the first time it was combined with some inspiration from Michael Moorcock’s fantasy writings. It is also their first album to make extensive use of audio samples (taken from radio productions of The Lord of the Rings), giving the album a slight dramaturgic bent.
all albums of Summoning are great but this one is one of the main reasons why they are the Austrian Masters and believe me, if you are ever going to read something that was wrote by Tolkien, put some Summoning playing in the background and you’re going to feel one of the most fantastic experiences ever.
“When you watch German musician Anna-Maria Hefele demonstrate a few polyphonic overtone singing techniques, you will get chills.
Watch Hefele show off her perfect control, as she is able to sustain one constant low note, while simultaneously singing a high-pitched scale. It seems impossible that the sounds are coming from just one woman, and Hefele’s vocal control might leave you wondering if she is even human.” x
I don’t even know what kind of dork this makes me, but I’ve been in love with this polyphonic group called A Filetta for years now. They sing this intense A capella in Corsican [an endangered language] and I just love it. Their passion is awesome Every time I hear some of their stuff I imagine some ridiculously dramatic movie scene. XD
I just put this together quickly to help explain the idea of counterpoint in music to a friend on twitter, so I figured I’d put it here as well!
You’ve probably heard musicians talk about “counterpoint” at some point or another, and if you’ve ever wondered what it means, look no further;
“Counterpoint” refers to when two or more melodies are happening at the same time, which fit together melodically but not necessarily rhythmically, and are of equal importance to one another (meaning one does not dominate the other, and they rely on one another to create a texture).
so in this example, there are 3 parts.
The first part is a single instrument playing a melody by itself, a.k.a. “single voice”.
The second part has two instruments together, which are playing the same notes as each other at the same time, and that’s called a “monophonic texture”.
The third part has the same two instruments playing together, but they aren’t playing the same notes, yet still seem to work together melodically. That’s called a “polyphonic texture”, and “counterpoint” is sort of an umbrella term used to describe all the different sorts of polyphonic textures that exist.
This is a very abbreviated explanation, but hopefully some of you find it useful!
Shostakovich - Symphony no. 2 in B Major, “To October”
This symphony isn’t very popular compared to his others, most likely because of the chorus [since music requiring larger forces are less often programmed], and specifically because it’s text is Soviet propaganda. But also, because of how weird it is. The music is a shocking difference from the first. Instead of thin chamber textures with lyrical whimsical melodies, we get a dulled full bodied orchestra layering polyphonic scales over each other like dizzying waves of sound. The end of the symphony is a clearer, conventionally tonal choral praise for Lenin and the Bolshevik Revolution, and the supposed good years to follow. However, the symphony seemed too non-conventional, too experimental, and because later Stalin’s Party didn’t approve of experiments in music, the symphony quickly fell out of favor. Ironically at its premiere, the audience who were enthusiastic with support for the recent revolution, enjoyed the unique atmospheric orchestral sections but felt cold to the over emotional choral section. Cheap sentimentality. So yes, combined with that history, the expense for the large orchestra, and the outdated text, this symphony doesn’t feel relevant enough to perform. Though I have to say, it does show two major things. The first was that Shostakovich had quickly become a composer who was ready to push limits, considering this work came only three years after the premiere of his first symphony. The second is that this is a clear example of the direction 20th century Russian music was going [think of Prokofiev’s early music as well, or perhaps the futurist music of Nikolai Roslavets] before Stalin and The Party began censoring art.
This work is one movement divided into four sections:
2. [quarter note = 152]
3. Poco meno mosso. Allegro molto.
4. Chorus: “To October!” [Text by Alexander Bezymensky]