Etched in Twilight
- Featured: Josh Musikantow
- Release Date: 10/24/2006
Etched in Twilight (a trio for horn, violin, and piano) is dedicated to Neesha Joseph, whom I met at Stanford during the summer of 02', and who was the catalyst for the piece. Neesha translates, roughly, to twilight. The piece blends together microtonal, Neo- classical, and serial treatment of pitch, synthesizing abstraction with affectation. The work's drones and microtonal inflections allude to Neesha's Indian heritage, it's clave rhythms to her passion for Latin culture, and it's open lyricism to her tenderness. The Well-tuned Synthesizer was written for a synthesizer whose tuning can be adjusted in real time, so that a lot more notes can be used then the usual twelve per octave. This work uses integer ratios tuned to the nearest cent, creating pure, beatless sonorities not possible in conventional tuning. Intervals alien to classical Western music such as frequency ratios of 8:7 and 7:6 are prevalent. Each inflection is finely carved down to the minutest detail. The work's slow, sub-chromatic descents move through a large variety of shades whose differences are obscured in standard tuning. Étude and Meditation for Marimba was actually an exercise in which I was instructed to write a composition using transformations of a single five-note cell of my choosing. The freely composed first movement develops the motive of parallel fifths moving down a minor third, but the cell from the second movement is foreshadowed at several key moments. Shades of White is a theatrical production that intertwines spoken word, spectacle, incidental music and musical settings of textual collages drawing from a multitude of sources. Orlando mixes sections of Virginia Woolf's Orlando, Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey, and Coleridge's Dejection: An Ode and Aeolian Harp; Statue Plays is performed by a statue of a violinist that becomes animated when a quarter is dropped in it's moneybox; and Dance is a dance scene involving spirits that takes place at a café. Duluth 99' is a duet for flute and percussion consisting of three movements, each inspired by a different personal experience in Duluth. Gnossienne starts off calm, moody, and introspective, much like a Satie Gnossienne, but as the theme is developed, it shifts away from Satie, towards my own more elaborate idiom. Joshua Musikantow is a Chicago born poet and composer with a special interest in microtones. He graduated with honors from Lawrence University and Conservatory with a BA in English and a BM in theory/ comp from the studio of Joanne Metcalf. He is currently pursing his masters in composition at the University of Buffalo. Offbeatjm@aol.com.
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