Copyright ©2001-2017 Marshall Rendina. All rights reserved.
Hours of the Day, 2017
Paintings for Musical Interpretation
For String Quartet or Small Ensemble
Based on the state of being during each hour of the day.
Dawn 6AM - Infinity Chord. In this piece, four or more players may be called for its realization. There are two circles of fifths, one inner and one outer, separated by a major third. The sequence as one circles around is of and endlessly rising chord that goes through all keys. The sound sources or players are best positioned in alternating Left-Right pairs then Top-Bottom pairs, such that when one moves throughout the circle perhaps on the line between the inner and outer circumference, they will hear a constantly shifting chord. Four other symbols represent the four positions of the sound sources or the four players as they may represent the positions of the sound sources where one cannot move through a physical space. The golden ropes meet at a point, as though a kind of circus tent, and may signify that they are guidelines for which notes to play, though perhaps others related may be played in variation.
12 Noon - Maypole Dance. In this painting there is a central pole represented by a silver circle. Lines come inward from the circumference of the circle, indicating that it is the axis on which the other parts of the piece rotate. This could be musically represented by a drone, perhaps shifting in dynamic intensity, as the lines go outward and inward interacting with the ribbons tied to the pole. There are seven colors of ribbons – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, and Gold, in reference to a song I had written in 2012. There are seven colors, and this perhaps corresponds to the seven degrees of a scale. Each ribbon may have a melody associated with it, played beginning on a different degree of the scale. As the person in the dance moves outward, the melody would play and octave up, as the person would move inward, the melody would play an octave down or at the starting position. Each melody would be played with all of the others moving in the opposite direction, then the second melody would be played with all others moving in the opposite direction, and so forth until all 14 melodies have been played. Alternately one might consider only the two melodies played at a given point on the circle throughout the piece as they move around the pole. Each color forms a pair, and the two melodies should be mirrored retrogrades of one another. The blue and yellow flowers may be symbolized by sparse interruptions in the piece, so as to make the melody lines more varying. The green grass then may be interpreted by even more slight ruffling of the instruments by other players.
3PM - Projecting. In this painting, we see light being projected onto walls from different angles. When our mind is in a state of projection, it is no longer focused on the present. It is focused a time in the future and perhaps a different place. One can direct the light towards a flat surface and expect to see what they had desired to see, however, as time may pass, as is demonstrated by the alternate angles of the light in the lower image and alternate angles of the walls in the upper image, the desired result becomes distorted. Just as the hands of a clock would turn to form a different angle at a time in the future, the walls and points from which the light is being projected have changed. What this means musically, is that the desired sound is never reached. It exists as a starting point in imagination, but with each passing hour, the intervals of pitch and rhythm have been altered by being multiplied, perhaps bending the pitch to be slightly out of tune and wider, then a melody being played in which each interval has been widened, until it is no longer a melody at all, but a sequence of pitches. The starting melody and rhythms are represented by the circle at the bottom.
Dusk 6PM - Shrutis Becoming Separate from Nadas and Dhwanis. In this painting, there is a center with spiraling comets. The center appears to be another world or sphere. Musically, this would mean harmonic sounds have not been formed yet, and as such, sounds whirl around and around. Outside of this sphere there is another of bright colors in a spectrum with lines meeting one another at the edge of a circle and at points perpendicular to the edge of the center sphere. These are perhaps best represented by glissandi, in attempt to find the points of harmonics on the strings. The colors may represent different positions on the strings, or the different strings themselves. Outside of this circle, there are 22 steps. Some of the steps appear to be covered by clouds. One might interpret this musically as points of harmony having been found and perhaps scales being constructed, yet still a mystery and having other musical sounds obscuring them.
12 Midnight – Inner and Outer Worlds. In this painting, there is a golden circle, perhaps representing the sun, being surrounded by the darkness of space. This darkness is perhaps best represented musically by soft clusters of notes in the lower registers. The sun is ever present, though it does not illuminate the entire painting. The sun may be represented by the fundamental tone or a key and its associated tonic chord, perhaps from the natural harmonic series, or a dominant seventh with a sharp eleventh. From the sun, rays of light project outward over half of the inner world, or the Earth.
Between the Earth and the Sun there is another circle, though it is not clearly visible, representing a lens though which light is visible, though the essence from which light has emanated is present everywhere, even the darkness of space. Outside of the center world there are four circles. These four worlds or circles may correspond to four other keys, chords, or tonalities. Beneath the worlds there are purple, blue, and green clouds, perhaps reminiscent of a nebula. This nebulous material may represent the subconscious in which dreams are now taking place. These colors are similar to those in the four worlds. Musically, this could mean that although the tonalities of the worlds are present, they are made unfamiliar by blurring together, perhaps in polytonality, as would be characteristic of a dream in which visual objects are distorted in their dimensions.
We should note that the light that is visible is not the same color as the light from the four worlds outside of the lens – this lens meaning the perception of our own eyesight and hearing, thus, the colors and harmonies as they may be inaudible and invisible to us outside of our own perception may be encountered in the dream world. In the circle representing the Earth is a square, and in the circle representing the outermost world is a square. The square in the outermost world meets at a point from which the visible light reaching the Earth emerges, thus, visible light reaches the Earth in all directions, though not directly, its essence being contained in the clouds of the nebula, as well as the Earth itself. Musically, this would mean that there are proportions to the piece that exist throughout, perhaps in form.