September – a collaboration of Christiane Offenbar, Meolog, and myself. All of the audio is derived from Christiane’s singing of Meolog’s poem which is below. The processing created tracks that were based on harmonic series started on 27.5 cents, 41.25 cents, and parallel tracks in a fugue at the octave, minor 3rd, 4th, and 5th.
Bat Bomb is part of an ongoing series of experiments to try to learn how to make aeolian harp type sounds. In this case I used Uhe’s Brazille with a patch that manipulated the overtone by adjusting the modwheel. Using my Linnstrument in MPE mode I was able to independently adjust the overtone (13 in total per note) by moving my finger in the “Y” dimension (which was routed to the modwheel channel control) and the root note from Carlos “Super JI” tuning by selecting the pad I played. The original patch had a lot of high end to it and are some time listening to it I decided to turn the filters down to try to get closer to a sine wave. Then I experimented with tempo. I find the 60 BPM version the most interesting at the time I am writing this post though there are some interesting peculiarities of each version. And, no, I don’t feel that came close to the aeolian harp, yet I think the experiment has its merit in learning sound design technique and audio result. Of course YMMV. I present the audio in the order I find most interesting. And yes, the bat bomb was real – click the photo to read about it as you listen.
Here is the audio spectrum analysis of the 60 BPM version. Click to enlarge.
Now Yer Talkin is a short piece for piano. The composition is through composed. The tuning was developed by Doug Blumeyer and he asked for piano piece. This composition uses the comma shifts in the tuning to a fair degree in the right hand part. The tuning is here as a scala file.
Academic performance in a setting where a fee is charged is allowed. Any other commercial use without my permission is not. Please write me for permission in such a case, I haven’t told anyone no as of yet.
The Figment is a short piece for alto flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, muted string orchestra and choir. The composition is through composed. The tuning was developed by Doug Blumeyer and he asked that I try composing in it. The tuning is here as a scala file.
Picture from the Vaisvil family collection, circa 1960.
Scott Dakota devised a rational detempered version of his Chagall  tuning. Here I present the same string piece in the detempered version for comparision and also a new improvisation on the Linnstrument driving Zeta 2+ in the same tuning.
I have been archiving past projects and I ran across this fragment of The Rite of Spring (French: Le Sacre du printemps; Russian: «Весна священная», Vesna svyashchennaya, ‘sacred spring’) and decided it would be interesting to render it in adaptive just intonation since that has been a recent topic of interest on the Facebook group Xenharmonic Alliance II. The video is an overlay of the score and the real time adjustments made by the Kontakt included factory script. I selected the factory brass ensemble which in my opinion rendered a nice version of one of my favorite passages of the piece. YMMV of course. You can find the video here for download.
NOTE: Sonar has a a very odd sense of accidentals if you do not explicitly apply a key.
A Single Cloud is an ambient fretless guitar piece in two tracks – the first track laid down was the ebow driven (mostly) drone. Then I improvised an ebow (mostly) melody over that with the intent of sticking to just intervals over the drone. The title and icon come from my feeling of solitude while performing the piece. The fretless guitar was made by defretting a Fender Squier stratocastor copy. You can see me playing the guitar in this video.
This piece is based on an ancient Breton myth in which a cathedral, submerged underwater off the coast of the Island of Ys, rises up from the sea on clear mornings when the water is transparent. Sounds can be heard of priests chanting, bells chiming, and the organ playing, from across the sea. Accordingly, Debussy uses certain harmonies to allude to the plot of the legend, in the style of musical symbolism.
To begin the piece, Debussy uses parallel fifths. The first chord of the piece is made up of sonorous Gs and Ds (open fifths). The use of stark, open fifths here allude to the idea of church bells that sound from the distance, across the ocean. The opening measures, marked pianissimo, introduce us to the first series of rising parallel fifth chords, outlining a pentatonic scale. These chords bring to mind two things: 1) the Eastern pentatonic scale, which Debussy heard during a performance of Javanese gamelan music at the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris, and 2) medieval chant music, similar to the organa in parallel fifths from the Musica enchiriadis, a 9th-century treatise on music. The shape of the ascending phrase is perhaps a representation of the cathedral’s slow emergence from the water.
After the beginning section, Debussy gently brings the cathedral out of the water by modulating to B major, shaping the melody in a wave-like fashion, and including important narrative instructions in measure 16: Peu à peu sortant de la brume (Emerging from the fog little by little). This shows Debussy at his closest manifestation of musical impressionism. Then, after a section marked Augmentez progressivement (Slowly growing), the cathedral has emerged and the grand organ is heard at a dynamic level of fortissimo (measures 28-41). This is the loudest and most profound part of the piece, and is described in the score as Sonore sans dureté. Following the grand entrance and exit of the organ, the cathedral sinks back down into the ocean (measures 62-66) and the organ is heard once more, but from underwater. To attain these effects that reflect images of the castle, most performers use specific techniques with regards to pedaling and articulation to affect tone color. For example some performers use their full body weight to depress keys to create a rich sound. Also performers create a ringing bell sound by instantly releasing pedaled notes. Finally, the cathedral is gone from sight, and only the bells are heard, at a distant pianissimo.