Crest is a music and video collaboration between Adriano Capizzi a.k.a. Metunar and me. We decided that a good starting point might be to take something old and unfinished that seemed like it had potential, but was just sort of stuck.
I dug out something I had started 20 years ago (the first few seconds of the piece) and we started adding on a little every time we sent files back and forth. Using Dropbox and Ableton Live Lite, we each used our preferred methods of music writing to add to or change the other’s ideas. Being across the world from one another, if each of us worked on it a little each day, we could both get up in the morning to find more music added to the project. Communication was done almost entirely through Dropbox Paper, which was much easier than checking emails. It was also nice to use a system integrated with the files themselves.
I used Sibelius to score what I wrote, which made it that much easier to share with Joshua Weinberg (flute) and Tyler Neidermayer (bass clarinet) of Apply Triangle when they graciously agreed to donate their time to playing on this project.
I constructed a single marimba key to play the repeated A♭. It was probably excessive, but now I know why marimbas are so incredibly expensive.
When the music was done, I wanted to make a video in the style of Metunar’s previous videos. He suggested that instead of doing a whole new collaboration on the video, we share the videos and images we had to each create our own. My two older kids helped with making the videos, which were shot in the middle of a field in Knoxville, on a camping trip in Cades Cove, and on a leisurely drive through Gatlinburg. I used Magic to create my visuals and an ancient copy of Premiere for the editing.
We decided from the beginning that the music would be freely available, so you can add it to your playlist from Spotify and YT Music.
The name Crest comes from the double meaning of the word: an escutcheon and a mountaintop, which I think comes through nicely in the music and the videos.
Musical accompaniment is now written for many visual formats. Most of these formats (opera, movies, video games) tell a story; the music serves as a backdrop for the story.
The aim of the legend musical form (legend in the story-telling sense) is to re-invent this process: if music can be written as a supplementary element of an audio-visual story, why couldn’t the music be written first, leaving the story up to many possibilities?
Legend One, titled ‘July,’ is the first of hopefully several implementations of this form. It is a large work for chamber orchestra (instruments shown in as tags on this page) in 26 movements and is about an hour and fifteen minutes long. It is what I think of as post-minimalist, with each movement featuring only a few instruments.
The image is an illustration of the form of the piece in terms of theme.
the poem (or whatever a non-writer like me is allowed to call a bunch of words such as this) was written in 1999 in response to heavy rainfall in bright sunlight. the music was written between 1999-2002. each movements is a side of the box.
the seven-sided box text
the sun was shining
but there were clouds
it came down
and he came down
I said, 'hey, man, what am I supposed to do with this seven-sided box?'
I didn't notice what I was saying at first
so he didn't really tell me
or maybe I didn't understand
he wasn't a man, though
but he didn't really tell me
so I'm not really sure what the deal is with the seven-sided box
he said I could use it with friends
he said if I listened
he said this is the seven-sided box
'well, I can see that'
the clouds passed
and he said you got any friends?
I just wanted to know what it did
'what's it for?'
so I said I know people
but he said, come on, everybody's got friends
'my, what big eyes you have'
that's not the way it works though
clouds and sunlight
he said you must be a friend to somebody
I just wanted to know
I tried to listen
when it came down, sounds could be heard
some things were clear
but what was the deal with the seven-sided box?
there's always a side you can't see, isn't there?
what is it for?
huge eyes, I tell you
he said he had all day
'of course I got friends'
that's a strange number of sides for a box to have
he wasn't from around here
I got a few friends, anyway
he said he was
'you'll be here for quite a while, won't you?'
I gotta go get my friends
he said there's always a side you can't see
no, but really, I have good friends
not as sunny, but lighter
and that's not really the way it works, but I think he knew that
he said here, learn the seven-sided box
not a man
he said I could already hear it
the seven-sided box
'what is it for?'
listen with your friends
listen to your friends
it's harder to make a decision when you can't see every side, but I doubt that was the point
everybody knows people
he said you already kind of listen
the important part really is wanting to listen
out of the sky, he didn't just walk up to me
or through the sky
or from the sky
the guy was tall
the seven-sided box recording info
this piece was scored with sibelius and rendered using gpo.