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Le Petit Négre variations


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Le Petit Négre (1909, Debussy) was originally intended to be the sixth composition in a collection "The Children's Corner" loosely based on things in Debussy's daughter's room. I use many differing Jazz styles, starting with the original Ragtime feel, then switching just about every verse to add a playful feel to the arrangement. Yet, even the frenetic boogie woogie section is based on riffs used in Debussy's original music.

Le Petit Négre is about a black doll belonging to Debussy's daughter employs ragtime rhythms associated with African-American composers who had just come into fashion, like Scott Joplin. It was replaced in "The Children's Corner" by "The Golliwog's Cakewalk" (which I shared here earlier) and "Le Petit Negre" became a stand-alone piece. The artwork is "Maya with her Doll", painted 1938 by Pablo Picasso. I thought it illustrated the angular nature of many of the variations better than the more liquid Impressionist artists. I've posted a video of "Golliwog" on YouTube if you are interesting in a historical overview of the golliwog doll and character: Golliwog Is Steppin' Out.

For more information about Impressions of Water & Light, please see the project page on my website. I learned a great deal doing this project last year!
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Song Stats
Hits: 1509
Comments: 17
Fans: 13
Plays: 62
Downloads: 16
Votes: 0
Uploaded: Apr 28, 2015 - 08:22:06 AM
Last Updated: Apr 28, 2015 - 08:51:26 AM Last Played: Mar 17, 2017 - 09:25:51 AM
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Comments
H3nry said 793 days ago (April 28th, 2015)
Modernist classic
Debussy gets a modern makeover, but the intent of the original is still here. It's going to take several listens to figure out some of those progressions. Thanks for the download.
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TobinMueller said 791 days ago (April 30th, 2015)
Debussy makeover
The process of making these arrangements employed a great deal of improvising at the piano. After I play through the original piece, I try to deconstruct certain elements to hit upon either a groove or a new way to accompany the melody. With this piece, I ended up throwing away a ton of Debussy's score and concentrating on creating variations of the main theme, mainly because I kept coming up with so many ideas (as opposed to the other sections of his score). I would definitely love repeated listenings. I took me a good 10 days to work this little diddy out. Having someone digest the whole thing would be a pleasure!

Thanks for listening.
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DWL said 793 days ago (April 28th, 2015)
Variations on a theme
Very clever and very impressive Tobin.

Class simply oozes from this.

Cheers

Dick
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TobinMueller said 791 days ago (April 30th, 2015)
Class simply oozes from this
Thanks, DW. I tried to make all of the tracks from my Impressionists project sound "classy." I figure, as I grow older, classy is the new sexy. Glad you listened. Appreciated.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
J_Gretch said 793 days ago (April 28th, 2015)
variations
Love this..!!I haven't been around for a while and this was the first thing I clicked on.What a wonderful way to start the afternoon.Excellent composition.
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TobinMueller said 791 days ago (April 30th, 2015)
first thing I clicked on
Glad we could click! Thanks for checking in at just the right time...

Appreciate the listen. Keep shining your light!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Philip18 said 792 days ago (April 29th, 2015)
Le Petit Négre variations
Thoughtful and entertaining. I like the variety, the different interpretations of the theme. Impressive, Tobin.
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TobinMueller said 791 days ago (April 30th, 2015)
Thoughtful and entertaining
Thanks, Philip. The loud part was really loud before we mastered it, and I kind of miss the huge disparity of volume lost in the modern effort to compress tracks. But the end result is classier, as DWL says. Thanks for checking in, much appreciated.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
J.A.Stewart said 791 days ago (April 30th, 2015)
Angles?
This interpretation has more angles than a four-dimensional Minnesota Fats trick shot, Tobin. Fascinating rhythms, dissonance and styles add up to a playful adventure into Debussy Land.

Good to hear you're still having fun. ;)

--- J
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TobinMueller said 791 days ago (April 30th, 2015)
Debussy Land
Wo, you gave me a flash of what Debussy Land might look like. Located just outside Paris, it would become an alternative to Euro Disneyland, with more water rides, less mice, more Greek goddesses and much more wine. I can image Monet-like painters standing on pathways painting portraits of patrons in Impressionistic pinks and greens. An "Arpeggio Rollercoaster" with special padded headphones (for an extra $5). And an improvisational corner when people can rent instruments of all kinds and jam to their hearts content. And a pool hall, in your honor.

Thanks for stopping by and giving me a true smile moment.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
mystrag said 791 days ago (April 30th, 2015)
ragtime Debussy
I like the way you develop this about 1/4 way in. It's grooving, rocking, and maintains that vibe of children playing. Nice swinging passages at about 1/2 point. An excellent work and enjoyed very much. Thanks.
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TobinMueller said 786 days ago (May 5th, 2015)
Ragtime, Swing, Stride and Running
Thanks. My first variations try to sneak up on you, so I appreciate the work "develop." Most of the others are sudden transitions. Glad you could find the moments to enjoy the best. Ragtime is an under-appreciated form. Full of joy and urban energy, yet with an almost classical structure.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
grah3am said 788 days ago (May 3rd, 2015)
Nice changes
I don't know which are yours and which are Debussy's, but it's all good.
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TobinMueller said 786 days ago (May 5th, 2015)
Debussy or Memorex?
Actually, none of it is exactly Debussy. The opening verse and the last transition into the final capitulation are closest to Debussy. The rest is me riffing off of his ideas. Glad you liked it all. Not really know where the lines are drawn is part of the idea behind the project. Like the history of music. In the end, it shouldn't matter. Thanks for listening to it in the right way!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
KCsGROOVE said 786 days ago (May 5th, 2015)
le petit negre
love those bassnotes on the keys
very cool playing
I like the different motifs, cool chords
very much enjoyed
KC
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Dadai.2 said 786 days ago (May 5th, 2015)
Rag and rock...
Tobin, this sparkles. Love how it moves along, builds, and then changes. The Jolplin vibe is alive. Your playing is really a delight to listen to. Thanks for continuing to share your talents here at MJ...
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papag said 685 days ago (August 14th, 2015)
Clauded
I like how you tweaked this tune around. The changing touch was nice and kept me guessing through each cycle.
thanks for the download.
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Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
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I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

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