This edition of At Water’s Edge brings us the second of our new monthly challenges. The challenge for today was to create a long form track (minimum 15 minutes) that started out in a major key and shifted to minor. The interpretations were eclectic, beautiful, and very clever.
The idea of making the challenge tracks 15 minutes or longer was that this gave artists room to “sneak up” on the listener with the transition from major to minor, if they chose to go that route. Some did, some didn’t.
Because we did not receive enough submissions to fill the program, the second half of the program is a riff on the challenge, bringing you tracks that are somehow related to the challenge.
M2F – Beermother – Major to Minor (2017)
Beermother was the very first to respond to the challenge, with a track that exemplified the terms of the challenge. However, she decided that it felt rushed and incomplete, so she sent a second version, which is the one we hear in today’s program. It is a beautiful track, and reminded one of our listeners (WARGOD, for those who play in the chat room) of colorful balloons.
The title, according to the artist, is derived from the idea that major keys are often considered to be more “masculine” and minor keys more “feminine”; therefore, M2F (Male-to-Female).
Nail In My Butt – Fimus Tauri – Nail In My Butt (2017)
This track, according to its creator, is autobiographical, traveling from major (the innocence of childhood) gradually through some turmoil into minor (the sadness of wisdom) and ending on a question mark — his life is far from over, so the end is deliberately left a mystery.
“If I am honest, I actually missed the change to minor – it happened without me noticing.”
The title has become something of a mystery, even for those of us involved in the original conversations. Chat room denizens have a special delight for puns, and this was one such occasion. Some pun (which none of us can now recall) devolved into someone declaring “Nail in my butt!” — which Fimus Tauri then decided should be the name of his track.
Night Song – Christopher Alvarado – (2017)
Like Beermother, Christopher Alvarado submitted his first entry for this challenge very quickly after it was first announced, but then decided that he wasn’t happy with the mix and sent a second version. This beautiful track also adhered to the terms of the challenge very well, and the subtle shift from major to minor sneaks up on the listener.
She And Little Bear – George L Smyth – She And Little Bear (2017)
George pulled a little trick on us with this track. Instead of using keys to make his shift, he used legends — the tale of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, Big Bear and Little Bear, also known as Callisto and Arcas in Roman mythology. In the Roman myth, Jupiter (the king of the gods) lusts after a young woman named Callisto, a nymph of Diana. Juno, Jupiter’s wife, discovers that Callisto has a son named Arcas, and believes it is by Jupiter. In her jealousy, Juno transforms the beautiful Callisto into a bear so she no longer attracts Jupiter. Callisto, while in bear form, later encounters her son Arcas, who almost shoots the bear, but to avert the tragedy, Jupiter turns Arcas into a bear too and puts them both in the sky, forming Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. Callisto is Ursa Major and her son, Arcas, is Ursa Minor.
This was the end of the challenge tracks; the remainder of the program becomes what amounts to a “riff” on the challenge, where we pulled library tracks that roughly fit the overall theme. Somewhat comically (and serendipitously), though, Ombient’s “Undersea Miner” was misspelled as “Minor” in the library. I pulled it anyway, as it suggested a tangent for the rest of the episode: Major-minor-miner-caves….
Canis Major – SSI – (unreleased, 2014)
Music for Horns No.1 in G major (part 1) – Bing Satellites – Summer Night (2009)
Undersea Miner – Ombient – Sectio Aurea (2015)
Cavelight – Thom Brennan – Shimmer (2001)
Opal Cave – Lorenzo Montanà – Phase IX (2017)
Glopsyche Eclipse – Lorenzo Montanà – Phase IX (2017)