Sunday, March 15, 2015

Lunar Locrian

Lunar Locrian, 5 x 7", watercolor/Neocolor II
   The Locrian Mode is the last of the seven modes, and it is the most "unsettling" as Joanna Mell observes in her book, Modal Musings. The obvious reason is that it begins with a half-step. To me, the Locrian Mode sounds like outer space with planets spiraling ever farther. In particular, I think of Gustav Holst's  The Planets, and after a little exploration, I see that it is even more particularly, Neptune, the Mystic. I was thinking about the ending, where the voices are singing two alternating notes, a half-step apart. My mind's eye sees the spinning planets. Interestingly, while listening to Neptune, it seems that Holst is using the Locrian scale straight-up (and the harp is prominent).
    However, I am an Earthling, firmly tethered to the Mother Earth. Therefore, I am going to use our moon as my inspiration for illustrating the Locrian Mode. Yet, Mother Earth, straight up is probably in the Ionian Mode. To present a Locrian half-step twist, I will represent our moon with a shadow moon (not Moon Shadow, the Cat Stevens tune, which is Ionian, I believe). Our own moon, with a reflection, like what might happen when you are trying to take a picture of the moon through a window (which I did this very morning!) The Locrian Mode is a reminder that although we are firmly planted on Earth (the same seven tones) we are also part of the vast, infinite universe and beyond.

No comments:

Post a Comment