Joe Cunningham | Burnt Sienna

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Avant Garde: Modern Composition Classical: New Music Ensemble Moods: Mood: Quirky
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Burnt Sienna

by Joe Cunningham

An original fusion of classical, modern, experimental, and jazz.
Genre: Avant Garde: Modern Composition
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Sienna
5:10 $0.99
2. Evolu
4:56 $0.99
3. Winter
7:09 $0.99
4. The Monkey Song
3:26 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
In 1981 I quit composing. Not being a “firebrand” and seeming ploddingly slow at everything I reckoned if I was going to make a living I could not afford to pursue such a hopeless self indulgence as composition – especially considering the seemingly impossible task of actually getting pieces performed. Almost 30 years later (in the throes of intense ludism), I realized technology had given me a second chance.
Three of the four pieces in this collection (Winter, Evolu, The Monkey Song) are reincarnations of works from the late 1970s. Sienna is a new piece written in 2009. It has a connection to Winter in that they share a modal scale (or key) which has been derived by the original medieval method of annexing two half-octave scales referred to as tetrachords.
In the late seventies I discovered that the well known collection of modes (i.e. Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian and Aeolian) omitted possibilities that included two interval tritones (i.e. C, F#). Without going into more detail this essentially meant that one particular sequence of tones, related to keys and modes that have evolved in the last seven or eight hundred years, was missing from the lexicon – a neglected orphan. Both Winter and Sienna employ this missing scale sequence, albeit with a different suggested “tonic”. The additional tritone gives Winter and Sienna a sort of angular Mixolydian and Phrygian flavor respectively.
The Monkey Song was originally a nursery rhyme for adults I composed sometime in my hazy 20s and Evolu is a chromatic, romantic theme and variation drawing on some of my eclectic influences.

I'd like to thank the following:
Mike Judd, for the use of his painting.
My composition teacher, Dr. Steve Tittle (He’ll certainly be surprised as I never had a formal lesson with him!).
My technical and musical collaborator, John Bourassa,
Sidney Cunningham, for her photography.
Jenni Akitt and the staff of the Twin Butte Country Store for their musical hospitality.
Scott Macmillan for his encouragement.
The musicians on this little album:
Guitars – John Bourassa; Jim MacLennan, James Van Leeuwen
Vocals – Sidney Cunningham, John Bourassa, Mark Lawson, James Van Leeuwen
Drumset ,some percussion and some vocals was performed by yours truly.
I’d also like to thank the unknown musicians and technicians who created the soundfonts and technology that made my realization of these pieces possible.
Finally, thanks most of all to my wife, Janice Day, for patiently tolerating my self-indulgence and for all the books.



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