September 28th, 2006

abstract butterfly

Greensleeves

Ever since I began to play with the autoharp, a few decades ago, I've liked the tune "Greensleeves". It's easy to play, on the autoharp or the mountain dulcimer. This ease of play serves me well, because my playing skills, if that is the right phrase for such modest attainments, adapt themselves well to anything featuring ease of play.

I'm not as intrigued with the poem generally attributed to the song, although I do like the Christmas hymn "What Child is This?" sung to the same melody. I am not a big aficionado of alternate versions of the piece, although I read that Leonard Cohen, Leonard Bernstein, Loreena McKennit and a cast of thousands have created such alternate versions. I like that the key folk songs are such a part of our creative common music that this occurs.

My last few pieces at DiSfish tend toward the less melodic material which some people call experimnental but I, with less feeling that new-things-are-under-the-sun three decades after Stockhausen,
just call weirdbient. I thought it was time to give "Greensleeves" a try for a change of pace.

I changed the pace of "Greensleeves", of course, as I tend to work best in slow material. It's not a "speed of performance" technical limitations thing, because my computer is so kind that it will play the song ar virtually whatever tempo I ask it to use. It's just that there is a slow, stately somnolent part of my musical ear, and I don't mind at all soothing it sometimes.

The kind people at the Mutopia Project, which catalogs such things, kindly had posted a public domain MIDI sample of "Greensleeves", which I adapted to create my own version, with six different lines of new synthesizers sounds and a fair bit of transposing notes in individual tracks to create pleasing harmonics.

If you're into "Greensleeves", and don't mind a little synthesizer music, then courteously cast your ears onto this:

click here to play song.