Looking back at June 2023, I find that it has been a good month for my relationship with the banjo.

At the beginning of the month I recorded this rhythmic improvisation:

[soundcloud url=“https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/1533064360" params=“color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true” width=“100%” height=“166” iframe=“true” /]

Rudi Seitz · BANJO Improvisation June 6, 2023

I spent the rest of the month writing a piece called “Sighting the Candle” and I made this video of it yesterday:


Why is it titled “Sighting the Candle”? I liked the sound of this play on the phrase “lighting the candle,” but the full explanation is based on some theory. The piece uses a natural minor scale but it avoids the minor third and the minor sixth. Even though the minor third is often considered a “dark” note, its absence can make a musical environment seem even darker and more austere. When we finally do hear the minor third in this piece, approached only via an upward slide from the major second, it offers a kind of light, warmth, or fullness that we may have perceived as missing earlier. It’s almost as if the “dark” minor third is a glowing candle that has finally come into view – a candle we are finally “sighting.”

By the way, I play banjo! Most people don’t know that but now you do. The technique I’m using here is called “clawhammer.” ■

Comments ༄