SCP #2: Lydia's Needle
I completed my Honours year in music at the Victorian College of the Arts last year, and studied with my friend Joanna Kerr who is a wonderful vocalist and composer. Her research was looking at "seeds" - small ideas that inform compositions, which in turn inform improvisations, which in turn offer up new material for composing and improvising with. I'm definitely over-simplifying her work, but that basic idea is central to this project. There are times when I find getting started on something impossible, often becoming paralysed by procrastination, and this project is attempting to circumvent that by offering a ready-made starting point. So far it seems to be working, as getting started today (day two) was much easier than yesterday. I'm still in the honeymoon phase of course, so I'll have to wait and see how long that lasts.
Yesterday's piece had a lydian/#4 moment in the melody, and I decided to take that as a starting point for this piece. The melody is wordless, which is highly unusual for me. I almost always start my writing with some kind of textual or lyrical idea. I don't think I've ever written anything completely devoid of lyrics, and I've also never had to name an instrumental tune, so I did some creative Googling to come up with the title. Lydia comes from lydian, and Needle from sharp, as in the sharp-4 of the Lydian scale. Lydia of Thyatira was a purple cloth merchant, and she may very well have sold sewing needles to go with her cloth too, so this piece is for her. I gave my best attempt at taking a vocal solo over the chord progression, which was a nice extra challenge.