MELOS 2 By Igor Krivokapič
Fourteen years ago a good friend of mine—a flute player, Cveto Kobal, asked me to write a piece for him. Actually this was one of those “instant commissions” where musicians need a composition practically overnight to be then played one day later on their recital. In such a short time I was able to compose only a solo flute piece, so this is the background for the first MELOS. Working on MELOS I simply let myself be led by a sort of subconscious “stream of melody,” which was done in a quasi ABC form with a fast inner section.
The charm of composing this way and also the success of the composition inspired a plan to compose a whole set of such “MELOSes,” however without any good reason I simply abandoned the idea, until Jason Roland Smith invited me to compose a soprano helicon piece for the ITEA Journal’s Gem series.
MELOS 2 shares many similarities with its “older sister”—it’s another “stream of melody” piece composed in an even more clear ABA’ form with a fast inner part. But, on the other side, the melodic material itself illustrates my inner evolution of musical expression, which is becoming more and more modal, even diatonic. My sincere aim was also to make an apotheosis of the virtuoso nature of this “descant tuba” as well as to point out its tonal richness especially in those registers (middle and deep), where other brasswinds of soprano or even sopranino tessitura are simply weak.
Having in mind the fact I’m composing the piece for a miniature tuba, for the sake of pragmatism I’ve also made a bass clef transcription that suites well for F, EE-flat, CC, or BB-flat bass or contrabass tubas, helicons, and sousaphones with at least four valves.
In addition, the project GRADUS AD HELICONEM in cooperation with Melton is moving forward, the new contrabass BB-flat helicon has already been made, and the other four instruments of the new helicon family are coming soon, so I’m again making a plan to compose a MELOS for each one.
[Editor’s Note: For more information on Igor Krivokapič and the ongoing developments of the helicon family, please be sure to read his article found in this issue of Journal.]