Wheels within wheels



Jostein Gundersen, Hans Knut Sveen, Alwynne Pritchard, Ruben Sverre Gjertsen and Ensemble Currentes.


Photo by Hilse Sand


The Project Programme

A joint presentation will be made at Research Catalogue. My part of the work will also be available at this site.

Research abstract


Reading Ciconias proportion canon

In this manuscript Johannnes Ciconia suggest performing the melodic line at 3 different speeds, forming a proportion canon in the ratio 1:3:4. We are exploring this piece through recording of individual parts. Lets hear the original 3-part version.

We can extend Ciconias 3-part canon to 6 parts by adding new proportion. Some sustained drones are added before or after where durations don't add up. This version will step outside medieval counterpoint principles. This is a canon in 1:3:4:5:7:9.

A canon with bow brushing is also possible.

Contact microphones can bring out sounds we normally would not hear, like Josteins fingers tapping on the recorder.

The contact microphone recordings are dry, while we can experiment with different sounding impulse responses applying strange acoustic ambiences.

Abstraction of the score

With a late medieval repertoire as a starting point, various compositions, adaptions and improvisations are bringing the materials in a terrain between quotation and abstraction. This is a reading of Jacopo da Bologna's Sotto l'imperio del possente prinze, using the original score, with ideas of timbral variation, processing and degree of abstraction during the performances:

Microtonal Dufay

The work Nuper rosarum flores, re-readings of Dufay and Codex Faenza is on the contrary not an experimental performance directly from medieval scores, but a new work in detailed notation, based on distorions of Dufays iso-rhythmic motet with the same title, and diminutions (or ornaments) found in the Codex Faenza manuscript. When fluently stretching and shifting the music, the result is a microtonal language closer to what I have been exploring in my own previous works. Fluent speeds and confusion of cronology approaches circling and jumping within a score. Leftovers (or distant echos) of ancient polyphony form shadows of activity. The original latin text used by Dufay are sung, along with spoken or whispered passages from James Joyce's Finnegans wake. In this performance from the Gjenlyd Festival, we were missing the first soprano part, which should finally add to the density. The piece will become much longer.

A final performance

The whole range between late medieval repertoire, abstractions, new compositions and 16 channel sound installation elements should form parts of a final concert.