C.37 - "Aria"

Composed: ~May to June 2013

     Oh I love this delicate little piece. I wrote it after attempting to write another piece – a recitative entitled "I’ve made the day a night" which completely failed and never went past 20 seconds. This piece was supposedly going to be another recitative, but I made it an aria instead (although, to some extent, it is not aria-like at all). However, the title "Aria" is not a reflection of its title, but actually of one of the characters involved in the song.

     That’s right – this song has a story! – I had not yet done this for a small vocal piece like this. The story is inevitably blunt and perhaps too sexist, but nevertheless, it is effectively the story of two women; one named Aria, and the other unnamed (the singer). Aria, the one that does not sing here, is trying to find a man she can love, and the other unnamed women is singing to her in an attempt to cheer her up and give her advice.

     Of all my early pieces that year, this is one of my favourites – it is very simplistic, but still works. The little melodic semiquaver motif is charming and delightfully played between the singer and violinist. The harmony is also simple, but not so simple or drastic that it is extremely strange, and tonally the piece is very functional and does not stray to incredibly distant keys as per my previous pieces. The appoggiaturas are very tasteful – bah! – I just find a strange joy in this piece’s simple yet elegant state.

     I know you are probably sighing in a mocking tone, and I won’t argue with that at all, but I simply find this piece pleasant. Particularly the sequence at bar 75 that plays out between both the singer and instruments.

      As fate would have it, I would later use the name "Aria" once more for another narrative piece in the genre of musical theatre – a piece far more worthy of the name and one I am keen on finishing.

Reminiscence written on 4th June 2016

Last updated: 20th October 2018

© 2019 Jonathan Shaw