Friday, April 16, 2010

Dark music

I love dark fairy tales. Many fairy tale enthusiasts will insist that true fairy tales really were dark in their origins, therefore to describe them as dark is redundant. But in our culture, we definitely have a prevailing view of fairy tales as innocent and specifically for children, even though before many a happy ending are many gruesome trials. Even in the Disney versions, considered by most to be the epitome of fairy tales reduced and simplified, there are scary moments too!

However, for anyone to admit to loving fairy tales enough to research their origins and their "true" nature, there still has to be a sense of vulnerability and childlike appreciation of the magical aspect of the tales as well. Yet the darker, adult versions of these traditional themes and tales provides an interesting juxtaposition of dark and light.

I've found that I like this same juxtaposition in music. I love basically any music in minor, but especially in minor 3/4. Music in 3 has a lilt to it, usually thought of as being waltz-like. Yet with a minor melody, that waltz can become more sinister- a waltz of vampires, or a demented circus-something childlike or innocent gone awry. Any story-or music-that tries too hard to be hardcore without leaving any vulnerability takes away much of the realism and the personal connection.

I adore the waltz from Prokofiev's Cinderella ballet. In minor 3/4, it takes a beautiful waltz but gives it a sinister sense of foreboding. And listen to how he creates the ominous clock ticking and then chiming midnight with a symphonic orchestra!

I love Ravel's "La Valse." (This is only part 2 of 2). It starts off bright and cheery, but towards the end gets wilder and wilder. It makes me think of a dream that starts off pleasant and turns more absurd and perhaps nightmarish. I also think it would be perfect to accompany the Cinderella-at-the-ball scene.

No comments:

Post a Comment