Production Log: Gnossienne 2

This is the second (and last for now) arrangement of a piece written by Erik Satie around 1890 as a solo piano piece. Here it is arranged for 3 Native American flutes, ukulele, and electronic drums and synth pads,


As before, the first step was to analyze the structure and rearrange for my ensemble. As written, there are two main sections, the first mostly in the key of Dm with the melody in the range C4-B5 and the second mostly in the key of E with a melody in the range E4-Eb5. The total melody range is C4-Eb5, so technically it could fit on a single C4 flute. But with the key change, it was easier to divide it up between two flutes tuned a major third apart.

For the chords, none of them are particularly complicated, so I started to work up separate arrangements for reentrant and linear tunings to see how they sounded. The inversions worked a lot better on linear so I went with that and didn’t finish the reentrant one. I have two ukes currently tuned linearly, my Ono baritone in Ab and a KPK long neck soprano in C. This meant I needed F and A flutes to fit the Ono or A and C# to fit the KPK. I have C#4, F4, and A4, so F4 and A4 are the proper relationship, meaning the Ono baritone it was.


The arrangement was a pretty typical Band in a Box to Reason sequence. As I said, the ukulele chords weren’t particularly difficult, but many of the transitions were troublesome, and I ended up comping the track from many short snippets. The flute tracks were much easier to get laid down. The bulk of the melody is the F4 from Nipomo Flutes. The higher part in the middle is the A4 from JD Flutes. Underneath the A4 is a part adapted from a “strings” part from Band in a Box played on the C4 by Konstantin Mitokaru. I also pitched this part down an octave and mixed this in with the original signal. The result sounds more little like a “vocal pad” than an actual flute part.

Video was once again done with FraxHD and LumaFusion on the iPad.

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