What it is about
A juxtaposition of the exotic and the mundane.
Well ... um ... actually ... it is just the name of a street in Lancaster.
How it was written
It started with a chord progression that was offered to a group of web-based songwriters to see if anyone was interested in a collaboration. Sadly, there were no takers. One member commented that it sounded discordant because of the use of minor seconds.
A minor second is an interval of two notes a semitone apart, such as D# and E. It is viewed as dissonant in a lot of Western music, yet regularly appears in Chinese and Japanese music, and sounds pretty good.
That provided the incentive for development: to create a piece with an Eastern flavour that uses dissonance.
Accord and discord
The initial idea is a I-V-bVII-IV progression in B using modified chords.
A koto thing
The melody followed pretty quickly. Since the theme was oriental, it seemed a good idea to use a koto to play it.
Sounded pretty harmonious so far, so decided to go completely Japanese and add taiko drums, chinese cymbals, synth pads, bells and whistles, you name it, and the piece was off and running.
All this commotion and dissonance clearly pointed to the need for a peaceful zen ending. The sound of one hand clapping seemed a bit extreme, so compromised by adding two beats of silence at the end of the last bar.
Title: China Street
Length: 3' 04
Track 1: koto melody
Track 2: koto harmony
Track 3: synth brass
Track 4: sweep pad
Track 5: halo pad
Track 6: muted guitar
Track 7: fingered bass
Track 8: taiko drum
Track 9: drumset
Genre: Pop, Rock