DRIFTING – Keyboard Improvisation | AsteriskedMusic.com


"Message in a Bottle," by Atlantios, taken from [PixaBay.Com]; this image is released under Creative Commons license CC0 and is not copyrighted. Messages in a bottle are good at drifting.
“Message in a Bottle,” by Atlantios, taken from [PixaBay.Com]; this image is released under Creative Commons license CC0 and is not copyrighted.
This short keyboard improvisation depicts a feeling of drifting; letting go, and just letting the currents that are present in your life just sweep you along where they will. The title describes the experience I’m trying to communicate by the piece. It’s a feeling of drifting down a river; Consequently, not knowing, or even much caring where you end up. Every now and then, you have to take a break from constant goal-oriented activity and just drift. When you drift and turn off your consciousness momentarily, you are able to get out of your perspective for a while. This is an important practice. All the things that you think are so important can entrap you. If you’re not careful, you can end up never stopping to reevaluate your direction. You can only really do that if you just let go and drift every now and then.

The Jewish people believe in practicing the Sabbath. I submit that that practice is a form of spiritual drifting. We should all have a Sabbath day to let go for just a little while and drift so that we can truly collect ourselves.

Some Notes on Drifting

The piece is multi-modal with a single tonal center (E flat). It starts off with some descending minor seconds, that keep you guessing about the tonal center for a couple of bars before the initial, un-harmonized melody resolves in such a way as to make that clear. The piece introduces polyphonic strands at intervals. They sometimes dissolve into a supporting harmony; and sometimes, they emerge in parallel octaves and fifths, like accelerating bottlenecks of current. By and large, the piece focuses more on the higher registers, which gives the piece a lonesome, melancholy feel. The melody is almost Gregorian at times; it is evenly spaced, without too many large jumps, but is measured in unusual time signatures, and sometimes breaks into less regulated rhythms, as the drifting speeds up and slows down on its own. The piece ends on a jazz-like unresolved dissonance.

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