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Antiphonal groups

The Antiphonal groups fragments are composed of cycles between polychoral blocks. A singer is still central for every group.

 

Singers recite freely chosen texts from Finnegans wake.2 3 of them through a kazoo, 2 with live choir harmonization.3 Through 5 Antiphonal groups versions, all singers will sing 2 times with harmonization. Notes of the virtual choirs have individual dynamic levels, and follow independent spatial paths through the whole room. The two singers with harmonization will thus have a wider spatial distribution than the rest of the ensemble.

Chords are ad hoc just intonation transpositions from sung pitch. To clarify this non standard approach, we will look at the choir harmonization for all 5 fragments.

 

AN Antiphonal groups 1

Stine

A sung pitch is used as an input.

All the following ratios are multiplied by the frequency of the vocal pitch.

A resulting chord can be approximated to notation. The harmonization will still use the more precise overtone transpositions. Pitches will move in parallel with the voices in these fragments.4

Eva

A sung pitch.

Ratios multiplying the frequency.

Approximate chord notation.


CL Antiphonal groups 2

Liv

A sung pitch.

Ratios start from the sung pitch, the following notes are all calculated from previous note.

Resulting pitches are different from when all pitches are multiplied just from the initial note. Overtone relations can grow more distant.

 

Anita

A sung pitch.


 

Ratios start from the sung pitch, the following notes are all calculated from previous note.

The approximate chord.


BZ Antiphonal groups 3

Maria

A sung pitch.

Ratios start from the sung pitch, the following notes are all calculated from previous note.

The approximate chord.

 

Liv

A sung pitch.

Ratios start from the sung pitch, the following notes are all calculated from previous note.

The approximate chord.


DC Antiphonal groups 4

Stine

A sung pitch.

Ratios multiplying initial the frequency.

The approximate chord.

 

Anita

A sung pitch.

Ratios multiplying initial the frequency.

The approximate chord.

 

CF Antiphonal groups 5

Maria

A sung pitch.

Ratios multiplying initial the frequency.

The approximate chord.

 

Eva

A sung pitch.

Ratios multiplying initial the frequency.

The approximate chord.

 

All these harmonizations by overtone ratios can create resonant chords. If transpositions were equal tempered, we would hear notes separately. Fine nuances of intonation can make chords blend into a single homogenous sounds. Sonorities reach vagueness of sound quality as overtone relations grow more distant than for a spectrum over a deep unambiguous fundamental.

 

'Expansion of Grains tuning'5 is created through similar just intonation principles, not optimal for centered tonality. The organist must continuosly explore unexpected interval qualities through the keyboard range.

While Tristan Murial has worked within 'frequency based composition',6 Harry Partch created tuning systems suitable for his microtonal instruments. Fixed tuning systems, and the always unique results of acoustic analysis and transformations, have different qualities. Ad hoc tuning systems exist within single fragments, while other systems are explored in a variety of contexts. I will not make a choice between ’fixed’ and ’fluid’ intonation systems, rather see valuable elements for a larger vocabulary.

Example 62: CF Antiphonal groups 5

 

 


1 [Multiple_authors] Peter Veale , The Techniques of Oboe Playing.

2 James Joyce, 1992, Finnegans wake.

3 Ircam's psychoirtrist~ object for MaxMsp.

4 It is also possible to define static harmonizer frequencies for psychoirtrist~.

5 Ruben Sverre Gjertsen, 2013, 3 Manual Microtonal Organ, p. 15.

6 Rozalie Hirs, 2009, Contemporary compositional techniques and openmusic, p. 94.

 

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