- Featured: Stuart Hinds
- Release Date: 4/18/2006
Harmonx Program Notes: Renaissance Man reflects my interest in the polyphonic music of the 15th and 16th centuries in Europe and effectively demonstrates the contrapuntal possibilities of overtone singing. Notice the apparent independence of the two parts and the use of canonic imitation throughout the work. The second section begins with a strict canon in which the overtone line follows the fundamental line at four beats separation and transposed up a fifth. Midnight is built on a six-note scale. The missing note is the third scale degree, the one that determines whether a scale is major or minor in quality. The title comes from the prescribed time of day for performing Raga Chapghantarava, an Indian raga that employs the same scale. Yokyoku is the Japanese term for vocal music, but the inspiration for this piece comes from music for shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute. A typical Japanese five-note scale is used, and both fundamental and overtone lines are restricted to those five pitches. This limitation creates a stark, austere effect appropriate to a Japanese-influenced aesthetic. The Blues is a two-part realization of the traditional twelve-bar blues progression with a little bit of swing. Tuvan Groovin' was inspired by recordings of contemporary Tuvan throatsingers such as the group Huun-Huur Tu. Several Tuvan vocal techniques are employed, in particular the dotted-rhythm figure, suggestive of horses galloping. Fantasy features harmonic and melodic approaches reminiscent of late 19th-century romantic music, including distantly related chords and keys and the pervasive use of chromaticism. Ballad begins with a simple, folk-like tune, but as the piece progresses, the texture becomes increasingly fragmented and pointillistic while retaining the strict modal harmony. Harmonic Overtures is a work in a more experimental vein. Additional digital effects are employed in the middle of the piece to create complex textures. Variations presents a twist on the traditional set of variations. Instead of developing a given melody, the eight short movements take contrasting approaches to the idea that the overtone line be limited to four pitches (with a couple of exceptions). These four pitches can be produced as overtones on several different fundamental pitches, which provides the needed variety. The title, Goodbye Ravi, is a pun on the name of the Indian raga on which the piece is based, Raga Bhairavi. The keyboard part begins like the tanbura drone in Indian classical music, starting with a single pitch then adding one note at a time until, at the high point of the piece, a chord with all seven notes of the scale is present.
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