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Gamelan Ravel and Ravel percussion

In this installation the Sonatina in F# minor by Ravel goes through hundreds of transformations, or musical 'morphings'. It becomes a fixed point to be "distorted in intonation and rhythm".1 In most cases the original cannot be recognized. Open Music became important for these transformations.2

 

At early stages, Ravel transformations were tried out "reproduced as drops of water",18 or morphing between percussion and flute sounds. None of these worked as well as I had imagined, and I ended up with a pure ensemble of percussion.

 

The first Ravel percussion versions are similar to the Gamelan-Ravel fragments, but kept in a higher registers on only the glockenspiel, vibraphone and marimba samples. These sounds were easier to balance than the gamelan samples, and filtering or balancing of registers were not that necessary. There are more elegant technologies for this, which I will look into for future projects.

 

We will look at some fragments with 1/8-tone or 1/16-tone approximations. Intonations for synthesis are more presice. First the original Ravel quotation, which is a source for all the transformations. The amount of activity within each part can be recognized even in transformations far removed from the original: Usually, the accompanying second part will be the most active.

Example 9: Ravel Sonatina fragment for virtual percussion ensemble, in the 'Franck chorale' temperament.


Example 10: Ravel-percussion 63.

 

Example 11: Ravel-percussion 192.

 

 

Example 12: Gamelan-Ravel 4.

 

Time pointers can make the music stutter at a particular point of the music, and they introduce rhythmic irregularities I have found interesting.

 

The actual cent values of the first part reveal more detailed intonations:

(3560 3712 3716 3716 3769 3712 3716 4246 4020 3712 4728 4616 4178 4204 4460 3450 3450 3450 3790 3765 4020 3898 3171 4247 2646 3873 3535 3504 3560 3530 3441 3504 3560 3560 3560 3504 3560 3560 3560 3796 3796 3796 3796 3796 3796 3796 3796 3796 3796 3873 3873 3878 3873 3820 3873 3790 3716 3712 3931 4020)

 

Example 13: Gamelan-Ravel 5.

 

Example 14: Gamelan-Ravel 51 (in a random pelog tuning).

 

1 Ruben Sverre Gjertsen, 2011, Between instrument and everyday sound, p. 3.

2 Ruben Sverre Gjertsen, 2013, The Ruben-OM patch library. http://www.rubensverregjertsen.com/research.html

3 The microtonal organ manual and tuning documentation is available here: http://www.rubensverregjertsen.com/research.html

4 Ruben Sverre Gjertsen, 2013, The Ruben-OM patch library, p. 61.

5 The Ruben-OM function pitchshift-multiseq.

6 The Ruben-OM function multiseq-pointer.

7 The Ruben-OM function scale2inv-multiseq.

8 The Ruben-OM function time-scaler.

9 Ruben Sverre Gjertsen, 2013, 3 Manual Microtonal Organ, p. 9.

10 Ibid. p. 9.

11 Ibid. p. 15.

12 The Ruben-OM function spectralize-rand-chordnote.

13 Recording sessions with Sjøforsvarets Musikkkorps, Bergen.

14 The gamelan samples are from the Marsudi Raras ensemble. I used the freely available samples at http://www.marsudiraras.org/, with additional editing and noise reduction through Audiosculpt.

15 http://www.csounds.com/

16 Deep metallophone.

17 The Ruben-OM function bandpass-percent-multiseq.

18 Ruben Sverre Gjertsen, 2011, Between instrument and everyday sound, p.3.

19 Fast Fourier Transform.

20 The csound opcode diskin: http://www.csounds.com/manual/html/diskin.html

 

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