Polly-Birdie’s Secret Life, suite for two violins




Polly-Birdie’s Secret Life, suite-palindrome for 2 violins


  1. Dance Through Reflection
  2. Puzzling Steps
  3. Mute Song
  4. Reflection Through Dance


Date of composing early versions – 2016: final edition finished in September 2018

Genre suite of four pieces

Style contemporary

Duration  [1’54”] [2’24”] [3’59”] [1’54”]

Level of difficulty advanced

Copyright © 2016-2018 Natalia Pispini

Dedication Dedicated to my beloved sister


Idea and musical structure

The idea behind of this music was growing slowly, from my early piece ‘Mysterious Steps’ for solo violin (2016) to the later drafts for duo violins, from, initially, 3 separated pieces cycle to 4-pieces suite with a palindromic ending.  The concept of two egos debating, fighting or coexisting in peace, and all this is inside of a weird woman’s mind, who is bearing bird-like characteristics and behavior: she is as quick in movement, light in thinking, changeable in mood, fragile in sadness as a bird could be.

While that ‘birdish’ character defines the music stylistics, the idea of the double egos is converted to the constructive principle of palindrome or mirror. Each piece of the suite solves this ‘puzzle’ in its own way.

Dance Through Reflection. G-major. Allegretto volante [1’54”]

There are two contrasting sections with dancing themes in 2/4 and 3/4. The 2nd violin plays palindromic variants of each measure of the 1st violin’s part in section 1, and the palindrome of the whole theme played by the 1st violin – in section 2.

Puzzling Steps. In A. Andante ritmico [2’24”]

This is 2-voice canon with a long temporal distance between voices and basically tritone interval relationship. The leader voice isn’t imitated exactly but with some changes in melody as well as interruptions. At the same time this is variation form where there are ‘assigned’ changes within the tones (some tones go to more extension and rhythmic transformation, and others are less modified). While the variation theme is progressing in an aggressive manner, the second, mild and compromising theme is flashing and finally takes over.

Mute Song. G-minor. Pietoso [3’59”]

The free-scale lines like in some folk song traditions resemble an improvised singing manner and serve to recreate sad mood and haunting thinking. The 2nd violin’s part is a mirror reflection of the 1st violin’s music, sometimes transported in octave higher, or enriched with additional tones. The note alteration signs are often preserved in non-convenient and ‘mistakable’ way to keep the desirable intervallic combinations between two violins.

Reflection Through Dance. G-major. Più mosso [1’54”]

It’s return to the music of the 1st piece ‘Dance Through Reflection’. The same two sections appear in opposite order: 3/4, then 2/4. Section 1 is a mirror reflection of the section 2 of the 1st piece. Section 2 is a measure-by-measure palindrome of Section 1 of the 1st piece.


Performance Notes

It is possible to play pieces No. 1, 2 and 4 in slower tempo than indicated.

I think that the idea of this suite might be supported by special appearance of the musicians on stage, when the first violinist dressed in white, and the second in black.

Some elements of theater or pantomime are suitable if it matches to the character of the players. (I see it in mysterious and slightly dramatic modus, not in comic one). My suggestions are: (1st piece) playing face to face, turned to the listeners by sides, and gradual changing of mutual positions; (2nd piece) playing and performing steps, i.e. slow walking on stage towards the opposite corners (or whatever can be identified like ‘corners’); (3rd piece) the players are sitting in opposite corners and turned back to the listeners; (4th) gradual returning to the initial position. It is up to the musicians to decide about the exact style of movements and gestures, and further elaboration of extra-musical aspects of their performance.

Look at the score samples    1      2      3      4

Listen to the electronic realization on YouTube:


! This work may be commissioned or/and performed. If you want to play this piece, please contact Natalia. In your message, kindly provide some information  (brief introduction, collective’s title, website, contact details). The score, parts and all necessary material will be sent to you within a week.


Dandelions (electronic music)

After break, I am returning to electronic composition. Arranging my original score of an ‘academic’ and classical choral work ‘The First Dandelion’  in various sounds (chorus, organ, bells, etc.), with DAW Raper and Xpand! music library, I produced a bunch of new, fresh ‘Dandelions’. The images of my artworks ‘Blossom Through Wind’, ‘Blossom Through Water’, and ‘Blossom through Metal’ * are used for the clips with this music.

(*see https://ateliernataliapispini.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/blossom/)

‘Dandelion and Wind’ (2018)

‘Dandelion and Water’ (2018)

‘Dandelion and Bells’ (2018)



Weaves and Tangles, for flute



Date of composing February 2018

Duration [3’53”], [2’44’’], [4’28’’]

Genre  character pieces for solo flute

Style contemporary, neo-romantic

Level of difficulty advanced

Copyright   © 2018 Natalia Pispini

1. In G. Allegro e Adagio. 2. In B flat. Allegretto spensierato. 3. In G. Moderato scherzando


The weaving lines of my artworks ‘Reused Wood Lace’ served as a primary source of inspiration for this music. The fragments of those artworks were also used to decorate the score covers and the media clips. I thought of weaving, bending and intertwining branches like motifs melodically wavy and rhythmically expressing kind of interrupted regularity. As for character, this music can be interpreted as abstract pictures (with scattered dots, curved lines and complex shapes). Or one could describe it in terms of changeable mood, capricious sensitivity, or elegance of weird dancing. Or maybe it is just ‘voices’ of the nature like birds, springs, winds, whisper of leaves, veiled and passed through the filter of individual musical ‘vision’ …

Musical structure

All pieces are stylistically similar and have the same composing principles of rhythmic changeability, metric instability, and gradual modification of scales.  The melodies are based on symmetrical or non-symmetrical scales, but the diatonic foundation and tonalities are recognizable. The variety of rhythmic patterns was applied (symmetrical, additive, divisive etc.). The musical structure is free form in piece No.1, and ternary form in pieces No.2 and 3.

Performance notes

Three pieces are independent and aimed to be performed separately, but it is possible to play them successively as a cycle. No extended technique is needed. Nevertheless, many rhythmical and textural challenges claim for the advanced level of difficulty.

! These works can be commissioned or / and performed. To get the score(s) for your performance please visit my contact page and apply providing all required information. The scores are free of charge.

Look at the score samples:

Weaves and Tangles 1

Weaves and Tangles 2

Weaves and Tangles 3

Watch the scores with computer-generated sound on YouTube :




Eortastiko, for chamber orchestra


Date of composing    April 2017

Duration    [3’31”]

Genre   piece in hymnic character for chamber orchestra (2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 Bb clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 Bb trumpets, percussion – triangle, tambourine, frame drum, bass drum, tubular bells, 2 mandolins / ouds, harp, violins I, violins II, violas,  violoncellos, contrabasses)

Style    contemporary, ethnic (Greek)

Level of difficulty intermediate to advanced

Copyright     © 2017 Natalia Pispini


In D minor / G major. Maestoso sonore. The composition is dedicated to celebration of Easter in the Eastern Orthodox Church and it is based on the Greek Paschal troparion ‘Christos anesti’. The idea is to intertwine three layers of tradition such as church singing, folk festivity and individual reflection and enthusiasm within one composition

The melody of the troparion was notated by me out of one of the numerous performances of this hymn in Greek Church. Then I prepared it for usage in my work: all notes were made identical by their duration, and the borders between the words were marked with pauses (you can see the troparion here).

The prepared theme was assigned for playing by a group of instruments. It comes out in 3 different timing versions proportional to 1, 1/3 and 1/9, which sound simultaneously. The longest version, which is repeated only once (played by violoncellos and contrabasses, plus horns and occasional tubular bells), through the medium size version, which is repeated three times (played by violins II plus ornamented clarinets), to the shortest one, which is repeated 9 times (played by violins I plus oboes and flutes). The versions are unfolding in the progress like a fractal structure.

Another group of instruments plays music in respond to the main theme, but it has different musical structure. There are trumpets playing their own theme (consists of 3 long phrases set in bourdon-like texture); as well as harmonic support (violas and bassoons, mandolins and harp).

The third layer is made by the percussion group. They are distributed in specific way to highlight the borders within the whole musical structure.

Performance notes

The character of music comes from its genre of hymn, solemn, bright and praising. It is unified in tempo, rhythm and character, a massive sound cluster which is unfolding for 3 and a half minutes to express strong admiring feelings.

Due to its complex organization,  the score is provided by double numeration of the rehearsal marks: the parts engaged with the first theme have numeration 1, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3; while the general score has numeration A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J.

As for the parts, no specific or extended techniques required. Mandolins can be replaced by ouds if available.

Look at the score sample (pages ##1-5 out of 15 pages in total)

! This work may be commissioned or/and performed. If you want to play this piece, please contact Natalia. In your message, kindly provide some information  (brief introduction, collective’s title, website, contact details). The score, parts and all necessary material will be sent to you within a week.

Our Best Wishes, for woodwind quartet and percussion


Title Our Best Wishes

Date of composing December 2017

Duration [2’34”]

Genre  piece for woodwind quartet (flute, oboe, Bb clarinet, bassoon) and percussion for 2 players (triangle, tambourine, cowbell, glockenspiel)

Style Neo-Renaissance

Level of difficulty intermediate to advanced

Copyright   © 2016 Natalia Pispini


Inspiration and musical structure

Allegretto giocoso. In G. The work is about winter celebrations, and there were three major sources that inspired me in composition.

One is my remembering of Russian snow, its sound when you walk over, its smell, and a very special mood which you experience in winter when the New Year day is coming soon.

The second source is my impression after the Greek carols kalanda. Nowadays, they are still performed in Greek villages. Young boys and girls, or very small kids wander around in neighborhood, knock the doors and sing kalanda where they express good wishes to the householders. The singers accompany themselves with metallic triangle trigono, or framed drum tumbeleki, or even bagpipe gaida. Many of those songs are coming from the Byzantine past, bearing the old musical style connected with natural and church modes, or with regular rhythmic patterns-formulas etc. Greek kalanda may have uneven rhythmic schemes which are common in Balkan music.

The third source is Renaissance Italian genres like frottola and madrigal.

The character of the piece is light, merry and joyful. I imagined kids playing light percussion instruments, singing their wishes with light and high voices. The rhythm is uneven 7+7/16.  The unevenness brings an elegance and some ethnic nuance, and  it refreshes the normal 6/8 basic scheme. The harmonic structure is simple and consists of the triads passing from one tonality to another.

The ternary form /:A:/BA2 has repeated interludia sectors.

Performance notes

Rhythmic accuracy, perfect synchronization in time and manner of playing (legato, staccato and tenuto) are important. It is possible that the parts of triangle, tambourine and cowbell can be played by one musician if these instruments are framed.

Look at the score sample

! This work may be commissioned or/and performed. If you want to play this piece, please contact Natalia. In your message, kindly provide some information  (brief introduction, ensemble title, website, contact details). The score, parts and all necessary material will be sent to you within a week.


Explore my works for chamber ensembles

Sunset Gleams of Ardas River, for alto flute


Title Sunset Gleams of Ardas River

Date of composing May 2016

Duration [3’59”], [1’02’’]

Genre  suite in two movements

Style contemporary, neo-romantic, ethnic (Greek)

Level of difficulty advanced

Dedication ‘dedicated to dear Dimitri’

Copyright   © 2016 Natalia Pispini



In B. Largo poetico / In C. Allegretto semplice.

This is a suite in two movements which are contrasting to each other in sense of structure (AA1 vs. ABCD), tempo (slow – fast), rhythm (irregular vs. regular rhythm), mode (tonal centre B vs. tonal centre C) and character (meditative vs. active and mercurial). It was inspired by the evening sun gleaming in a river, and I thought of expressing the gleams of two kinds: one can see them as calming, soothing (looking at the smooth parts of a river) or as livening, cheering up (looking at the swirls and currents). There are other ‘gleams’ reflected in this music, those are birds’ voices saying their goodbye to the sun (in 1st mvt.), and an echo from an imaginary distant Greek folk orchestra playing traditional Thracian round dance ‘Lianochortaroudia’(in 2nd mvt.).

The scales are enneatonic:

1st mvt. B-C#-D#-F-F#-G-A-A#

2nd mvt. C- Db-D-Eb-F-G-A-Bb-B


Performance notes

1st mvt. Tempo rubato means that the duration of all notes, pauses and fermatas are optional and can be slightly resized according the performer’s taste. The sign ⌐ marks the beginning of each phrase. The sign ’  means the short breathing break.

1st mvt. The tremolo fragments with ‘Lianochortaroudia’ (see mm.7-10 and similar) are in whispering, bisbigliando manner.

Look at the score samples   1st mvt.    2nd mvt.

! This work may be commissioned or/and performed. If you want to play this piece, please contact Natalia. In your message, kindly provide some information  (brief introduction, ensemble title, website, contact details). The score, parts and all necessary material will be sent to you within a week.


Explore my works for chamber ensembles


”…Облака заволокли небо, и мы почти не заметили как это случилось. Солнце, еще не закатившись, слегка померкло. Вода в реке, обычно серая или зеленоватая, начала отливать свинцовой синевой. Река блестела и затихла. Мы наблюдали за прибывающими облаками и убывающим светом.  Неожиданно быстро подкрались сумерки. Издали доносились звуки народного оркестра, преломленные в вечернем воздухе. Река потемнела, зашумела. Облака почернели. Наступала ночь, но характер ее казался необычным: эта была ночь на исходе лета…” (Natalia’s writing inspired by this work)



Over Cool Waters Bridge, for chamber ensemble (flexible score)


Title Over Cool Waters Bridge

Date of composing  November 2016

Duration   [3’22”]

Genre piece for chamber ensemble with flexible score: flute, oboe (or Bb clarinet), bass clarinet (or bassoon), contrabassoon (or double bass), harp (or 4 guitars), celesta and harpsichord (or piano for 4 hands)

Style  romantic, ethnic (Asian)

Level of difficulty  from beginner to intermediate

Copyright   © 2017 Natalia Pispini



A minor / A major. Allegretto grazioso.

This music is about meeting the past love, hope and dreams. Everything is gone, yet there are sweet memories. Keeping them through the cold waters of broken relationships is the key for the future recollecting the soul.

The use of contrapuntal imitations and pentatonic scales are the main composing technique of this piece. The form is strophic ABA1B1.  The texture is transparent, and the rhythm is limited up to several durations only (like in some Japanese or Chinese folk music styles).


Performance notes

Although the composer thinks the original scoring is the best to achieve the desirable sound effect and the fragile mood of this composition, it can be played by different instruments defined in the description above. The tempo should be kept the same from the beginning to the end. The manner of playing is expected to be slightly emotionally distant, subtle and elegant. It is suitable to play for musicians with various background experiences, as well as for amateurs.


Look at the score sample

Watch YouTube clip

! This work may be commissioned or/and performed. If you want to play this piece, please contact Natalia. In your message, kindly provide some information  (brief introduction, ensemble title, website, contact details). The score, parts and all necessary material will be sent to you within a week.

Explore my other works for chamber ensembles