[Compositions 2022]

Composition 2022.01 (Franz Schubert)

Composition 2022.01 (Franz Schubert) is based on chords and harmonic sequences from Schubert’s Impromptu No. 1 in C minor for piano - which Schubert composed in 1827. This first Impromptu - written in C minor - is a set of variations on two themes. It commences with two widely spaced G octaves - leaving the key of the piece ambiguous. At the end of the initial sequence the key is revealed: after a rising bass - the C-minor chord is played in root position.

Composition 2022.02 (In Memoriam Eric Dolphy)

Composition 2022.02 (In Memoriam Eric Dolphy) is in three layers: a pulsing tone at C3 - a number of fading tones in different timbres pitched at C2 - C#2 - C3 - and C4 - and a continuous tone at C1. 

Eric Dolphy (1928 – i964) was an American jazz composer - alto saxophonist - bass clarinetist - and flautist. His use of the bass clarinet helped to establish the instrument within jazz. Dolphy extended the vocabulary and boundaries of the alto saxophone - and was among the earliest significant jazz flute soloists. 

His improvisational style was characterised by the use of wide intervals -  in addition to employing an array of extended techniques to create a wide range of non-musical sounds. He used melodic lines that were "angular, zigzagging from interval to interval, taking hairpin turns at unexpected junctures, making dramatic leaps from the lower to the upper register.” Although Dolphy's work is sometimes classified as free jazz - his compositions and solos were often rooted in conventional - if highly abstracted - tonal bebop harmony.

Composition 2022.03 (Memento Mori)

Composition 2022.03 (Memento Mori) consists of a short fading tone at E♭3 - a short sinewave-based tone that rises slowly rises in pitch - and continually repeating tonal dyads made from the pitches C2 - D2 - D#2 from the Electric Piano - with the dyads alternating between consonance and dissonance. The work was composed as a dirge - to remind one of one’s own mortality - and the sound of the electric piano has the quality of a funeral bell.

The Latin phrase memento mori literally means "Remember that you must die." The phrase has its origins in ancient Rome - where it is believed that slaves accompanying generals on victory parades whispered the words as a reminder of their commander’s mortality - and to prevent them from being consumed by hubris. The concept has become a familiar trope in the arts from the medieval period to the present.

Composition 2022.04 (Morton Feldman)

Composition 2022.04 (Morton Feldman) is based on the pitches and pitch sequences from Morton Feldman’s Trio for Flutes (1972). For the construction of his composition Feldman used cells made from a small number of pitches - with the cells sometimes being repeated - and sometimes using the same notes - but in different octaves.  

These are all the tones that Feldman used in his composition -  all of which are included in Composition 2022.04: C#2 - D2 - D#2  - E♭2 - E2 - F2 - G♭2 - A♭2  - C#3 - D3  - E♭3 - E3 - F3 - G♭3 - G3. And here are three examples of the cells: C#2 - E♭2 - D2 / C#3 - E♭3 - D3 / E3 - F3 - G♭3. (C2 equals Middle-C).

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