19 August 2015 Practice blog on interpretation of Khipukamayuk

Today I will focus on the interpretation – and analyse the form of the work. Trying to see figures and rhetoric principles to help me create the interpretation. At the same time, I want to keep the feeling of presence through the whole practice session. And I also try to make an affect analysis of the music to be more aware.
At the start, there is a rhythmic line with haphazard notes, or the notes are not fixed – they are created as a feeling of movement and higher/ lower.

Let the music swing. The first phrase at least. Form the line, which note to start from and where to go to. I decide what I think is the overall affect for that part. Then I vary it “on the way”.

Maybe I should follow the distortion arrows (the markings of the volum pedal turning the distortion sound gradually on more and more) as signs of high points in the music? I could go there, to the middle of bar 9, but there are also other smaller and important articulations on the way there. The lowest point is on the second beat, then building up from the last beat in the first bar, going to first beat in bar 9, and then further on to the quintuplets, then down again till the third beat of bar 10:

In the video below I explain how I use the thought of music-as-speech and verse feet in working on the articulation:


I check the orchestra score to see if that makes a difference for my interpretation. Then when I play I feel the swing of the rhythm, and I think the lines melodically, make sure the arms do not disturb. Whoops, I forget to feel the presence – the sound is flat and uninter- esting. I try again. In bar 9 (see figure 20) this pattern repeats several times, the triplets, sixteenths and the quintuplets, should I then go to the quintuplet every time this occurs? It’s a rhythmic augmentation creating a gradual build up. I try to use this throughout, and when the pattern does not end on a quintuplet I let the line go one beat further as a variation:

Energy is important. I sing the lines with the articulation. Do not stress the timing. There is a freedom in improvising, but like this I have a main idea about the interpretational directions and how I want to use the patterns. The expression here is eager, and a bit disturbed.

The second part, from bar 34, (see figure 22) is with both distortion and octave pedal. This part has many different expressions in short motives, there is the percussive part from the former part, then there are the col legno lines which are mysterious and dark. And melodic up going lines as proud statements – after a while they also go downwards. Feel them cantabile, singing, in the body. I sing the different possible articulations, then try them on the instrument to see if they make sense. I could play as if I talk the lines. And I imagine that there are here three different conversations going on at the same time, probably not talking about the same thing. You have the proud fanfare like lines, happy and triumphant. Then more thoughtful percussive part, and the col legno is suppressed energy, somehow scary. It is a challenge to swap between the different techniques – percussive left hand slapping with bow relaxed on the string, contact with the bow and singing lines, and then the col legno with the bow turned. I try to not get stressed and muddled up, and focus on the different expressions more than how to solve this technically.