Friday 9 January 2009

New Piece Under Construction: Names and Dates No1 (for Piano)

Check the player for a rough version of a new piece I am working on. It's based on a name of someone who was born recently, partly to commemorate the birth but also the first name and second names map onto two closely related Z sets interestingly (to me at least, very rare that someones name does this, not come across another one yet anyway).

Those sets are 6-Z10 and 6-Z11 (the more observant of you will note that 6-Z11 makes an apperance in Berio's 'Nones' discussed in a previous post). Also included is the complement of set 6-Z11 (that's the final figure, which is also heard earlier on).

I intend to explain this further and add more pieces to this series (might be all piano, or for various instruments, all of them based on someone's name, I call it harmonic gematria, patent pending).

It's performed by me on the rickety old upright piano at my Mom's house, so there is some traffic background noise and at one point a bristling sound of my beard/stubble brushing across the headphones which were around my neck (I think it's that, could also be a my fingers on the keys, the piece is quiet and so is the piano so I had to use a lot of gain).

It will do as rough draft for now, I still need to formalise the durations and work out the best way of writing it all down (will probably include fermatas at the end of each section so the player can use their own judgement in terms of when to continue).

The piece is 'atonal' I suppose but it features some literal repetition so it could be considered thematic to some extent (which compromises its atonal status in some respects, depends on your defintion of a 'tonic', i.e. strictly tonal in the cadential sense or tonal in the sense that there is a most 'important tone' or a hierarchy of pitches of some sort, this piece qualifies in the latter category but not the former)

Also, i'm currently formulating a long (ish) post on why brevity is the soul of post/non-tonal music (or something like that, basically why pieces like the one discussed here tend to be short unlike large scale tonal works like Mahler symphonies for instance, there are functional differences worth writing about, coming soon, bet you all can't wait).

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