December 15, 2006

Christmas Carol

This just worked itself out naturally and thus ended up being heavily derivative, of Mompou and Rodrigo. That’s what happens when you let things work themselves out naturally.

It’s not really a carol, but it is sort of seasonal. Bells, you know. Something.

No score, at least not any time soon. It takes a while to get them clean enough for the world to see, and I don’t feel like it.

I tried to take reader advice and play it slower than my ear and nerves want it to go, but as you can hear, I couldn’t keep it down. I could claim that it gets faster and faster as it goes for dramatic purposes, but it’s not true. It just gets faster and faster because I’m antsy.

Happy Hanukkah.


  1. Yeah, it’s still pretty darn fast.

    I like it, but how is it Christmas-y, exactly? As a Christian (and a pretty messed-up, guilt-ridden one, at that), I would recommend that you *not* label this a Christmas carol. Nothing about it sounds Christmas-y at all to me (there’s too much conflict, which actually sort of suggests anti-Christmas feelings), and just because of the month in which you wrote it, that doesn’t really mean it deserves the “carol” label, now does it?

    Posted by Mary on |
  2. I meant there to be no “conflict” in this piece. The dissonances are supposed to be glints of light, or at most, a touch of poignancy, rather than any actual tension.

    I already acknowledged that the word “carol” doesn’t really suit this little piece. However, you seem to be accusing me of using the term “Christmas Carol” so insensitively that I have done disrespect to Christmas itself, an accusation I deny. I take offense at the rash insinuation that because I am not of the Christian faith, I require remedial guidance in identifying things as “Christmas-y.” I also take issue with the confused implication that your relationship with Christ being troubled and guilt-ridden grants you greater authority to police his birthday.

    I hereby give up trying to fit the phrase “hall-monitor-esque” into the preceding sentence.

    I was about to list the ways in which this piece is objectively Christmas-y, but that sort of argued defense can serve no purpose. If you can’t hear any hint of Christmas in this, that’s your right. The point is that I want to assure you that I am lightly identifying this with the holiday of Christmas based on my genuine and considered aesthetic reactions to the piece (not to mention intentions in writing the piece), and not in some “it’s December and who cares about Jesus anyway” way.

    Were it not well-established, you would probably be wagging your finger at the Vince Guaraldi Christmas song for being too doleful and lounge-y. “Now does it” indeed.

    Posted by broomlet on |
  3. I see now that you explicitly ask me how it is Christmas-y anyway, so I guess my answers might serve some purpose after all.

    Though the proper answer is “to my mind, in some holistic ineffable way, but that only somewhat,” some specific Christmas-y aspects of the piece are:

    1) Suggestion of bell-ringing.
    2) Suggestion of folksong.
    3) Sentimentality.
    4) Childlike quality.
    5) Festive sense of gentle momentum.

    Words for musical sensations are hard, but I am inclined to list less concrete things like “shimmering/white light” and “snow.”

    Disagree if you like, but you have to grant me that I really did mean it.

    Posted by broomlet on |

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