FLIGHT – Piano and Guitar Improvisation | AsteriskedMusic.com


"Airplane Sunset Travel," by Karen Arnold, taken from [PublicDomainImages.Net]; this image is in the public domain. Airplanes are built for flight.
“Airplane Sunset Travel,” by Karen Arnold, taken from [PublicDomainImages.Net]; this image is in the public domain.
“Flight” is about the essential nature of invention. There is, in the most powerful creative endeavors, a process that takes place that the ancient Hermeticists projected as being tied to the nature of existence itself. The creative endeavor is an essential component of life itself as such. All life is the emergence of the new from the pursuit of completion. That’s what creativity is.

In Hermetic terms, this process takes place through the interplay of the male and female principles. This occurs on the level of biology, psychology, philosophy, politics, even, one could say, on the level of quantum physics. Consciousness and connected being interacting with one another generate the substrate of experience.

“Flight” depicts the Wright brothers’ invention of the airplane. The invention of the airplane is a real-life example of the animating creative process. A colleague of mine once mentioned that one of the Wright brothers was driven to succeed in the face of repeated failure because the woman he was enamored with had lost faith in him. He felt that he had to restore that faith at all costs. I have not verified this story, but it is a plausible one. Because of universal process of completion taking place in the context of the human species, gravity, which¬†once bound by man to a radius of about a hundred miles in his life, was now simply the thing that kept the plane from drifting into outer space, as he enjoys his flight from New York to Moscow.


Some Notes on this Piece

Recently, I’ve decided to include a guitar track in my pieces. In “flight,” the guitar sort of symbolizes the idea of flight that becomes a tangible reality as the piano track transitions from the slow, plodding thinking to the dynamic emergence of the factual projection underneath.

The piece begins quietly and slowly, but it gradually picks up tempo, volume, and body. It rises to a crescendo. At the climax of the piece, the guitar reaches for (and doesn’t quite attain) the tonic with a 6-7-6 (scale degrees) phrase. The piece ends with a peaceful decrescendo. The structure of the piece mimics the process of the joining of male and female principles in order to portray the hermetic idea.

The piece is for piano and guitar. It has some jazz and rock influences, as well as some Americana classical influence. Americana classical music is a branch of the classical tradition which features a largely diatonic harmonic content with some moderate level of dissonance, as well as some popular music influence. The two most prominent names of this tradition are Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. John Adams also composed music in this tradition, although he also belongs to the minimalist tradition.