This week, I met with my advisor Ethan for the second time. Well, in person, anyway. We've been pretty consistently emailing on a weekly basis.
We talked for another solid 90 minutes, and he made a few suggestions as regarded the project itself...
- Instead of a bunch of variable tempos, consider two or three "fast" or "slow" modes, which are basically half or double-time versions of each other, so that the rhythmic variation isn't so jarring.
- Instead of a bunch of variable key signatures, establish a list of music modes (mixolydian, phrygian, etc) fixed on a key (I'm thinking C major), so that even with variations in major and minor, everything sounds like it could fit together, even if it's a little dissonant.
- The bass should be the component that moves the most, which makes sense.
Once we got past those suggestions, we also discussed areas of research. Ethan pointed me in the direction of ethnomusicologist Thomas Turino, who studied the social effects of music. While in Western culture, we are typically consumers of music from a presentational (performed) or recorded context, Better With You is more reminiscent of a participatory musical experience, which goes back to most tribal traditions.
Looking at Dr. Turino's work definitely gives me a great angle from which to approach the social aspect of my piece. Combined with David Linden's book Touch, I can make a good case for why people joining hands and making music is, you know...a good thing.
That's it for this one. These meetings will become more consistent as we approach November, but for now, I have a lot to consider regarding the research portion of my paper.