As The Wood Smoke Rises by Brett Abigañ...

June 1, 2016  |   Posted In



By Brett Abigaña

As the Wood Smoke Rises represents the culmination of an aesthetic I have been exploring for the past few years. I have lately become very dissatisfied that in our standard contemporary large ensembles, the instrumentation is lacking any strummed string instrument. Of course, de Falla, Ravel, Tchaikovsky, and others have experimented with pizzicato strings, even suggesting the musicians hold them like mandolins, but that doesn't really replicate the sound of a strummed guitar. I have been attempting to create the same type of sound energy as those strummed instruments, but within a standard ensemble. To accomplish that, I have been exploring the uniquely American bluegrass aesthetic. In order to incorporate this aesthetic, I've been working with decidedly modal constructs, and adopting some basic formal structures of bluegrass. I can then stylize and elevate those forms and constructs into a more sophisticated entity. I hope the result is a uniquely American sound, while not sounding like a musicological treatise or, worse yet, a musical gimmick meant for cheap round of applause. In this specific piece, I have chosen a combination of rondo, call-and-response, and head/solos/head dorms to create a kind of variations on a theme which is finally exhibited in its true form only at the end of the piece.

Duration: 5 minutes
Grade Level: 6

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Additional information

Weight .1 lbs
Dimensions 0.004 × 11 × 17 in

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