Open Mic Adventures XXXIII: “Spore Song (Mushroom Dance)”

I found myself with a rare bit of free time last Thursday, 18 May 2023.  It was Field Day at school that afternoon, and while the kids were frolicking in the rain (yep, it was raining steadily yesterday), I slipped inside for a few quiet moments.  I found myself at the piano and, staring down a blank sheet of manuscript paper in my music journal, I decided to compose.

While I didn’t name it right away, the result was “Spore Song (Mushroom Dance).”  I’d been wanting to compose a piece named “Spore Song” after reading Stacey C. Johnson‘s post “Spore Song” at her blog Breadcrumbs.

The more I listened to this airy, atmospheric piece, the more I realized that this was “Spore Song.”  Because it’s mostly in 3/4 time (with two brief measures in 4/4), I added the parenthetical title “Mushroom Dance.”

The piece is written in a kind of Db major pentatonic scale (lots of black keys), which gives it a bit of a folksy quality (befitting a gathering of mushrooms dancing gently in the forest, releasing their spores in mild ecstasy).  I give a bit of an explainer and an only-slightly-botched performance here:

The C# diminished chord in the B section always gets me.  It’s an easy transitions from C to C# diminished—literally the left hand 5 finger (the pinkie) moves from C to C#—but I’m so accustomed to playing C# minor, I tend to move my 1 finger (the thumb) up to G# by force of habit.  D’oh!

That said, here’s a slightly better second take:

As always, here is my handwritten score, with all sorts of scribbles and mistakes.  I also drew and colored some mushrooms relaxing in the deep of the forest.  Astute readers will note a bass part, which I did not play in these recordings.  I’m working on adding that in in the left hand in place of chords, but my idea is that a bass guitar will play that bass line, which is rather jaunty, and will add a bit rhythmically to the piece.

Spore Song (Mushroom Dance) - Score

That said, I rather like it as it is.  It has a sweet, gentle, atmospheric quality to it.

What do you think of “Spore Song (Mushroom Dance)”?  Leave a comment below!

Happy Listening!


Other Editions of Open Mic Adventures:


8 thoughts on “Open Mic Adventures XXXIII: “Spore Song (Mushroom Dance)”

  1. Your creativity struck a strong chord (ahem) in my own. As I wrote, the opening notes of Spore Song played over and over in my head. I think my creativity matches this one small instance of your massive creativity …

    There is an essence in the air;
    Hard to hide from anywhere.

    In the morning and in night,
    We all know, it’s not quite right.

    While spores may join in dance,
    The smell alone does make us pants.

    It’s a noisome, nasty thing –
    Perhaps it’s good that spores can’t sing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I like it, especially the deliberate mid section where it sounds like it’s moving on its own. Taking a jaunt elsewhere, so to speak. 😄

    I see you’re not only rocking the piano, mate. Loving the beard! 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Port, I love this! I knew I would, since I always enjoy your music (plus, you had me at “Spore Song”), but I have to say that this one offered much more than what I initially imagined as the representation of this “folksy quality (befitting a gathering of mushrooms dancing gently in the forest, releasing their spores in mild ecstasy).” I thought, “that sounds delightful” and of course it is, but there is something else here, of haunting, ethereal depth of heavy magnetism. So, more than delightful. Deeply resonant. How appropriate for this magical moment of 8th grade graduation. Thank you for sharing this one, Port!

    Liked by 2 people

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