The Endangered AmberJack

The Endangered Amberjack from Tracy Lancaster on Vimeo. For our original artifact, we composed a song entitled “Amberjack”. Many different components of the song reflect the ideas seen in the research and the video. Most prominently used is the C Major chord with the added D. The inclusion of the […]

The Endangered Amberjack from Tracy Lancaster on Vimeo.

For our original artifact, we composed a song entitled “Amberjack”. Many different components of the song reflect the ideas seen in the research and the video. Most prominently used is the C Major chord with the added D. The inclusion of the 2nd of the chord adds tension to the sound, showing the troubles that are coming for the amberjack. This emphasizes the problems with traditional amberjack fishing. To personify this conflict, we used this irregular chord and irregular rhythms (such as the opening on the opening flute melody and the odd uses of the triplet in the piano accompaniment) in the chord progression format most often found in classical music, also known as the common practice era. The triplets used mostly in the bridge and the A prime sections give the idea of a moving ocean and (for the upward-moving triplets) also offer some hope for the amberjack. Some of the larger jumps in different phrases in the song have an almost pentatonic feeling, which is a scale that is very common in Eastern music, including Japanese music. In pursuit of the same point, the original orchestration was supposed to include a koto, a stringed Japanese instrument, to play the arpeggiation in the accompaniment. However, the software we used didn’t include a digital version of the instrument, so we used a piano instead. Hopefully, we will eventually be able to make a version of the song with a koto (and maybe other eastern instruments), to emphasize the importance of the amberjack to Japanese culture. But returning to the current product, we decided to stay away from horns and percussion. If we had used these instrumental sections, the piece may have seemed more grandiose which doesn’t reflect the issue. Although we have learned about it and see the problems that arise with the farming of the amberjack, the topic seems to have not gotten much recognition. The use of reeds and strings gives it a much softer, more subdued nature. The tempo, while slower to give a more solemn tone, still has an enough speed to give it an idea of forward motion. This not only illustrates the idea of swimming, but also shows the idea of hope. Overall, this composition deals thematically with hope. It portrays the strains and the problems that involve the amberjack, but also adds the idea of hope for change.

Image By Gary [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons