Composing a Landscape Pt. 2: Red Renaissance

By Katie Kramer

The inspiration to write a piece about Red Renaissance came from being enraptured by the beauty of the outdoor environment and learning the details behind the site. As a way to pay tribute to the project’s title, the music was composed in a similar fashion to the way music was written in the Renaissance era. Although voices were widely used in compositions, flutes and harps were gaining popularity in the instrumental music spectrum. As an instrumental music enthusiast, I opted for using the latter two instruments. I created polyphony, a standard for Renaissance music, by making each line have its own melody and rhythm. Thirds were often utilized to create harmony, which I incorporated into this piece.

To accent the formal entrance, a custom water feature was designed and build from hand selected stone to serve as a focal point from inside the home and to uplift the outdoor living experience.

Composers began to write music with more emotion during this era. The Renaissance was a critical period for breaking free from the previous music era of strict rules and forbidden chords. However, the pieces could only contain one mood; I chose the mood of this piece to be lighthearted and fluttery to represent the project’s intent of creating a safe space for birds.

The length of the piece as well as the main melody symbolizes a bird’s song; it is short, sweet, and simple. The bird is represented by the flute for its high pitch and soft timbre. The harp gives structure to the piece similar to how the wrap around deck at Red Renaissance gives structure to the site. The custom water feature with bubbling water is symbolized by the quicker notes; at this first instance in the piece, the flute’s trill represents a bird’s chirp as it notices the water feature. As it settles down to take a bath, the bird and the water feature move in harmony with each other. The music fades as the bird flies away.


Composing a Landscape is a series by Katie Kramer. Read the previous part of the series here: Part 1 – The Impact of Music.