O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden

This piece employs an idea I had had for a long time to take an existing melody and put it on top of itself with the only simple rule not to use two notes standing next to each other.

I decided to use O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden, which is one of my favorite J.S. Bach melodies.

Here is an example in words of how the idea works. If I were to take the sentence "Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny" (Frank Zappa) and put it on top of itself but without using letters next to each other the result would be something like this:

Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny - Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny
Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny - Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny
Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny - Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny
Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny - Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny
Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny - Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny
Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny - Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny
Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny

The melody is therefore in the piece on two different levels: In the background with a lot of pauses, and as the actual notes being played. But because of the rule I used to compose the piece, the rhythm of the melody being heard is nothing like it's suppose to be. Sometimes any connection between notes almost disappears, but at other times small phrases come to the surface. To enhance these phrases I took the alto voice of one of Bach's settings of this melody, and put it on in the places where the melody hits it's right place.

I doubt whether anyone will be able to recognize the melody though. Actually I think the piece will sound very open, almost as if it was written with some kind of chance operation, which of course is not the case. Everything was done using this very simple idea, which completely changes the nature of the melody. When played with it's original rhythm the melody has direction, and every note has it's natural function. In my piece any sense of function and direction is lost, and this kind of music that falls between a number of different things, I think is very interesting.