For almost a year now, I’ve been learning to play piano, going through a normal piano instruction book but also playing songs on my own just using chords. Per my usual habit of messing around with things and making up my own stuff whenever I’m learning anything, I started to play different random chord progressions, inventing arpeggio patterns, improvising a song to sing along while I went, seeing what interesting effects I could achieve by doing different things with either hand. I became especially fond of the Bm – A – G chord progression for no particular reason, so I did a lot of playing around with that.
Then eventually I started to put together all my different arpeggio patterns and harmonies and the like into a song, and then I played around with the song until it began to take own its own life. That’s always what happens with the best things I make up. Take my languages – I mess around with a few linguistic features, draw a phoneme chart, bat around some ideas for the morphosyntax. But then eventually I get this feeling of what the language should be, and the language just takes on its own personality and life. Same with characters and stories I create. I can do all sorts of things with the characters and the story, but it’s only when they start to come alive and seem to think for themselves that things really get good. So anyhow, the song started to take on its own shape and feeling, and then it started to take on a feeling that reminded me very much of the feeling of the books I’d been reading. This, also, is normal – my stories always have bits of theme and character that come from what I’ve been reading, and my languages always have bits of phonology or morphosyntax that come from languages I’ve been researching. And eventually, after a lot of messing around with it, I felt like I had reached a good finishing point with the song. Here’s a recording of me playing the result.
This song is, naturally, not very exciting or amazing or anything of the sort. And my performance of it is certainly lacking. Indeed, I’m not even sure there’s much of a point in putting it up on my website for the world to see. But I have to admit that I rather like it, and I love the distinct feeling it has…though more likely than not that’s just because it brings back memories of the books I was reading as I worked on it, not because it itself has much emotive power. At any rate, I decided to put it up in case any of my readers should be interested in the music I’ve been making. I hope you find it at least mildly pleasant.
I call this song “an experimentation with chords in D” because, well, that’s what it is. But if I thought it was decent enough to merit a dramatic name, I think I’d call it “The Corruption of Innocence,” as that’s the story I hear, at any rate, when I play it. If you’re curious about the books it makes me think of…well, honestly, it makes me think of A Series of Unfortunate Events, most particularly The Penultimate Peril. Though the bit near the beginning where the right hand is playing “ACB ACB AC…” makes me think of The Wide Window, for some reason.
By the way, I also wrote up the sheet music for it, really just as an exercise for myself, but I have a link to it below in case anybody is curious.