"Echoes of the Renaissance Forest" - An Original Composition
Produced, written, and performed by MJC
Photos provided by Netty Blomedal Vd Veen
My Analysis of "Echoes of the Renaissance Forest":
The Renaissance Period is one of my favorites in terms of musical style. Full of a newness of harmonic exploration and daring melodic sequencing, it has a sound that is unique, alive, and, for lack of a better term, haunting. This is no doubt that it can be challenging in performance as it can contain many fast passages and modal changes that come at the blink of an eye.
For it's part, the guitar was as varied as any in all of music history. It was, after all, during this period that the guitar began to take on a look that is more familiar to us. The original Renaissance guitar consisted of 4 sets of double strings or courses. Five string (doubled) also appeared side by side with the four course models.
In Spain, the Vihuela appeared eventually setting a tuning system that is still used today. In addition, the small amount of frets had to be increased so as to give more range to this increasingly expressive instrument. Eventually, the strings would no longer be doubled (could tuning have been an issue?) and would be increased to six giving us a model much closer to the more modern classical guitar.
I did not set out to mold a Renaissance guitar piece. I also did not set out to have it sound in a way that alluded to an more ancient musical style. However, there is no doubt that both of these things are present. I used my beat up Takamine nylon guitar and just played. The rather harsh attack, the slight string buzz, and the tonal output contributed to the end result.
I find this piece interesting and highly evocative of a time when uncertainty and tinges of the modern world converged. I chose to use images provided to me by my good friend Netty who took these in her beloved country, the Netherlands. I am grateful for her generosity and am fortunate to be able to use them. They are the perfect complement to this original work.
I hope you enjoy this trip back into a time when life was much different, and the fight for survival and necessity were much more desperate.