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Some shade of blue

Sheet Music: Score

Some shade of blue : underchin tarhu & centaur vibraphone / Damien Ricketson.

by Damien Ricketson (2011)

  • Sales Availability: This item may be available to purchase from the Australian Music Centre.
    Please contact our Sales Department to confirm pricing and availability.
  • Library Availability: 7855812/RIC 1 — Available for loan
  • Instrumentation: Solo tarhu, centaur vibraphone.
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  • Audio Sample

    Performance by Ensemble Offspring from the CD Between the keys


This item may be available to purchase from the Australian Music Centre.
Please contact our Sales Department to confirm pricing and availability.

Product details

Some Shade of Blue is a microtonal work based on a 19-notes-per-octave just intonation system proposed by Kraig Grady and Terumi Narushima. The metaphor of colour is associated with the evolving and growing palette of intervals heard as the work unfolds. The slow intense ascent of the melodic line shadows the violin solo in the final movement of the Quartet for the End of Time by Messiaen: a composer whose use of pitch is intrinsically tied up with colour ('synesthetically' so). The colour blue is often used to symbolise eternity, the end-point for Messiaen's quartet. The colour is also used to describe the subtle flattening of notes in Jazz and Blues music. Although I do not seek to directly evoke such musical traditions, the idea of the "blue note" - a note of heightened expressive potential lying between the cracks of the piano - is of poignant relevance.

Some Shade of Blue was originally scored for solo underchin tarhu: a newly designed instrument by Australian Peter Biffin. The violin-like instrument features a unique acoustic system that provides enhanced timbrel and dynamic diversity as well as a set of 7 sympathetic strings. The work also features a vibraphone that has been modified by composer and tuning theorist Kraig Grady to his own 7th-limit just intonation system called 'centaur tuning'. The work was composed for Ensemble Offspring's 'Partch's Bastards': an ongoing project exploring microtonality and instrument building.

Subtitled a 'plainsong for undachin tarhu (plus halo)', Some Shade of Blue is a slow song-like solo set over a resonant aura provided by electronic means. The work was originally written for a newly designed string- instrument by Peter Biffin, the undachin tarhu and a detuned vibraphone. It was later adapted for violin combined with electronics realised together with the young composer Marcus Whale.

Published by: Curious Noise — 1 score (16p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced

Duration: 11 mins

Dedication note: Dedicated to Francesca Ricketson

Commissioned by Ensemble Offspring with funds provided by Russell Staley.

First performance by Ensemble Offspring at PARTCH'S BASTARDS (Sydney Opera House - Utzon Room) on 2 Sep 2011

Includes program note and performance notes. Sounding score and transposing score included.

Typeset edition.

ISMN: 9790 720068244

Related products

This work is also available in the following products:

Between the keys
CD: Between the keys / Ensemble Offspring.

This work also exists as the following versions:
- Violin with Live Electronics


- Browse other works published by Curious Noise

- Browse other works for Duos: Vibraphone, other string

- Browse other works by Damien Ricketson

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