Essay about Lake Pontchartrain

Submitted By Briannajael31Gma
Words: 781
Pages: 4

Lake Pontchartrain The song I have chosen to critique in this paper is Pontchartrain by Vienna Teng. In this eerie song, musical features like dissonant chords and warped violin playing enable us to experience the creepiness and unspoken fear associated with mysterious deaths. This experience is also supported through Teng’s voice and the lyrics as she sings this haunting melody from the perspective of a dead person. This song is a lullaby which aims to communicate the feelings of a person who has mysteriously died in Pontchartrain, and only they know how they died and what secrets the lake carry. By embodying this dead person, Teng draws out our own inner feelings of fear and terror. The song content is more mature and to my mind, speaks to a more adult audience, who can grapple with the ideas presented in this piece. The opening of the song is somber and constant. The same few piano notes play while a drum provides a soft background accompaniment. It sets a contemplative mood from the beginning for the listener. There are four distinctive segments within the song that seek to draw out the feelings of fear and creepiness we go through when we learn that someone has died under mysterious circumstances. The intro, as we have already discussed, sets a somber mood to the song. The second segment sounds like it is played in very slow 4/4 rhythm, with the emphasis on the first beat. This segment of Pontchartrain represents the lake, which moves slowly but constantly without regards to the circumstances surrounding it. I think it is this precise calmness, in the face of shady events, that sparks the initial nervous feelings within the listener. Further into this segment, Teng’s voice goes sharp or flat and several instruments simultaneously form a dissonant chord on that particular note in a very eerie way. The sound that is produced resonates with the listener in such a way that it immediately makes one feel alarm and unease. As this segment draws to a close, a violin begins playing, softly at first, but gradually growing louder in conjunction with three triplet piano notes played sporadically. The music creates strong uneasy emotions and plants the suspicion of hidden evil into the listeners mind. Teng makes a wonderful transition into the musical section that follows with a violin solo. We jump into the third musical segment with several lilting female voices harmonizing in a very airy and ethereal way. The music accompaniment serves a supporting role to the voices and is composed of simple, sometimes faint piano notes playing in the background. The singer’s voices and the accompaniment give a ghost effect to the song, which serves to intensify the mysterious vibe and cement the idea of death into the audience’s mind. The last segment of the music is very bizarre and perhaps the most complex. In this section, an instrument strums low, rhythmic notes in the background, while the piano plays the same, calm notes from the second segment. On top of these two melodies is a