That squeal of delight you just heard was me

Because, O Internets, I just more or less figured out the rest of “Manteau d’hiver”!
Which, for those of you who may just be joining in, is my very favorite instrumental by Le Vent du Nord, off of their current album Tromper le temps. I adore it to bits, as I have fangirlishly squealed about in previous posts. It’s lovely and evocative and upbeat and makes me think of snow showers and snowball fights and drinking hot chocolate by the fire after you come in from being outside.
I’ve been practicing trying to figure out tunes by ear and this was one of the ones I wanted to try, since having the awesome recording of it on hand is a fantastic motivator. I threw it through Tempo Slow on my iPhone, pulling the tempo down REALLY hard–we’re talking 40-50 percent of actual speed here–so that I could try to work out what the melody line was actually doing. And it WORKED.
The piece is deceptively simple in structure. There’s some opening ornamentation as an intro, and then the main tune kicks in with an A part and a B part. And that’s really all there is to it, except that as the piece progresses, they bring in the podorythmie on the second time through. And on the repetitions after that, they vary up the melody to make it more interesting. Harmony comes in, and rhythmic variations as well. And then at last you get the outro to wind it down.
I just focused on working out the basic melody, what appears in the first couple of repetitions. I’ve been trying to transcribe it using Finale Songwriter, but that’s proven to be surprisingly challenging–because it’s a crooked tune, and the time signature does some wacky things I haven’t figured out yet! So I’m not entirely sure how to notate it correctly.
I’ve been trying to get as close as I can by just writing it out in 4/4 and getting the notes in the right order and rhythm as best I can. But partway through the B part I flailed out on that hard, and tonight I opted instead to just try to listen very hard to the slowed-down track and see if I could get into the appropriate zen space of letting my fingers tell me where they needed to go.
I got the notes I was missing and ZOMG you guys, I think I can play this thing. :D Slowly, with some fumbling, but I can play it! And now that I have down the basic melody line, I can work on seriously practicing it so I can take it to session! This is going to be EIGHTY KINDS OF AWESOME.
And, amusingly enough, I’m working this out on Silver tonight–and realizing that for once, actually, the flute with the keys is striking me as the right instrument. Because Silver is metal, and tone-wise, that’s actually striking me kind of right for a piece whose title translates to “Winter coat”.
Want to actually hear what I’m babbling about? Behold, Bandcamp streaming goodness! (ETA: Adding in the direct link since LJ apparently eats the Bandcamp embed code. Sorry, LJ users who see this post!)
Manteau d'hiver by Le Vent du Nord
Or, here, here’s a live version!

For the record: I CAN’T do it that fast yet. But that will be coming. Oh my yes. It’s going to HAPPEN. :D

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