ICON

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ICON Seminar 5

Dartington, UK

Inspiration

Starless

Vytis Nivinskas

Last updated August 20, 2013

I heard this song many years ago, it was released in the mic seventies. But, when I listened to this song recently I was so impressed that I decided to do an arrangement of this song for the Lithuanian Jazz quartet Bad Strings (or Baisios Stygos) I am playing in. Although it’s a rock tune, I noticed many ideas borrowed from academic music fields and some ideas from jazz including the idea of improvisation towards the end of the song.

The Starless song is in 3 movements and it reminds more of the form of classical music (symphony or suite) than of the stucture of a rock song or a jazz tune.

The first- and opening part of Starless is in slow 4/4 movement based on minor harmony. It’s the only part with lyrical singing. The lyrics consist of 3 verses.

The second part (from 4’24) comes as a development of the begining part based on the minimalistic idea of repeating one note in guitar and drummer is making a developing solo over the whole part. It is a 13/4 groove combined with a 4/4 feel.

Third last part (from 9’08) comes in fast 13/8 groove changing to 4/4 movement with a lot of room for improvisation. And finally it reaches the melody of the first part and the whole Starless piece comes to an end. It goes over 12 minutes.

I think this song touched me not only because it’s musical beauty and simple deep lyrics but also because it consists of many music styles and opens a door to all kinds of academic music and represents the art of improvisation on the highest level.

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