("eight" by timlewisnm)



« Igorchestral, » the second movement of « Octoccata, » has been thus named because of the inspiration for the music, and the selected arrangement.


Igor Stravinsky is indubitably one of the composers I admire the most. The music he composed for the ballet « The Firebird » stands at the top of my list of favorites. One day while dabbling on the keyboards back in April 1999, I came across a figure somewhat reminiscent of the beginning of « The Augurs of Spring: Dances of the Young Girls, » the second scene of the Russian composer's « The Rite of Spring. » I sequenced it on the spot, and although I listened to it on several occasions, I never touched it again until many years later when time came to attack the writing of the present suite. That original sequence eventually spawned the music that is featured today.


The movement stands out as another orchestral piece specifically arranged for what I dub the « Modern Poligrafic Ensemble, » referring to the band when « exotic » instruments such as clarinet, brass, and orchestral percussions are called in to play.


Meanwhile, the sales representative of the good Doctor Graf continues to deliver his pitch in the hopes of liquidating countless crates of bottles of O·c·t·a·T·o·n·i·c, that most talked-about of formulae :


Lend me your ears a few moments
While its qualities I will state
This most powerful of agents
Leaves nothing to the hands of fate
This healthiest of all treatments
One simply cannot overrate
Easements, respites and wonderments
Handed to you on silver plate


« Octoccata » is an instrumental suite clocking in at a little over 16 minutes. The title comes from the combination of octatonic and toccata, and is inspired by Emerson, Lake & Palmer‘s adaptation of the fourth movement of Alberto Ginastera‘s first piano concerto, which they published on their « Brain Salad Surgery » album under the title « Toccata. »


The original intent behind this composition featuring intensive use of octatonic scales was simply to « make some noise. » While the music wasn't built around it, a narrative finally came into existence when I considered how to best present the piece. From the word « octatonic » stood out the word « tonic, » and that became the seed from which stemmed the idea of O·c·t·a·T·o·n·i·c, the miracle remedy to all ailments, infused with a touch of octatonine, and carefully brewed by a certain doctor Paul E. Graf, no doubt a good person enjoying an enviable reputation among his scientist peers, or maybe not...

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