“Aurora” is an attempt to do something new in the Duo Chronicles project — a way to use some techniques that we haven’t yet explored in the 48 previous tunes.
The song is based on a simple melody (in fact, the sheet music we used had the temporary title “Simple Melody”) with an equally simple harmonic underpinning. If one wanted to analyze it from a jazz point of view, the form is derived from the blues, although you might not realize it without stretching your ears a bit.
The first track we recorded was acoustic piano and flute, but we layered on quite a few other instruments to fill out the sound, including piccolo, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, and electronic keyboard (playing a celeste type of sound).
If you listen carefully to the opening sound, when the screen fades to white, the chord that sounds like a synthesizer is actually a technique that Clay suggested that we record after we happened upon it by mistake while warming up. The chord is actually made by recording the resonance inside the piano made by playing saxophone pointed towards the piano while holding down the sustain pedal. It took quite a bit of audio editing to make it audible in the mix, but I think it was worth it for the interesting texture.