Strange Fruit as Done by Cassandra Wilson
Vocals by Cassandra Wilson
The version of the song “Strange Fruit,” by Cassandra Wilson is a piece of music that consists of 4 verses. I have broken these down into Verse A, Verse B. Verse A, and Verse A’. Cassandra’s voice is most certainly the melody of this version of Strange Fruit and is used in all 4 verses. The rhythm of this piece is a 4. The song opens in a high pitch “tinkling” piano, soft flute (that reminds me of the wind bowing) a soft distant sound of an electric guitar and the eerie background bass that has the feeling of darkness and fear. This drew an image of dark and chilling to me.
Seventeen seconds into the song an additional instrument possibly the sound of a top hat are added and enter with a
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The texture of the verse is thick and the music dissonant. The instruments became much louder and faster again. The electric guitar is back with it fast downward tempo and whining feeling of doom. The piano keys sound loud and angry but their tempo is slow and arpeggiated, keeping variety and asymmetrical balance. The drum and top hat keep a slower tempo and are clearly heard but they are medium in dynamics as compared to the guitar and piano keys. A brief pause before the last word is belted out gives a sense of tension with the tinkling sound of just the piano and then Cassandra belts out a cry as if she was screaming (although it is actually the last word of the verse) Still slow in tempo but very loud in dynamics and incredibly dramatic. The hair can stand on the back of your neck during her cry. The texture continues to remain thick and the dynamics of it all are loud and also remain dissonant due to the fast loud sounds of the electric guitar that now sound like someone’s cries, the thumping of the deep bass (keeping rhythm and unity), the loud and fast rolling piano that quickly switches back and fourth to a angry hitting on piano keys for arpeggiated harmony. The drums and high hat/symbol vary in tempo from fast to medium and back to fast. The sudden dramatic pieces come together and create deafening fear and sadness. Which ends by rolling to just the