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Transposed Dekany : a chamber concerto for a large consort of iPhones

by Greg Schiemer (2012)

Transposed Dekany


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Transposed Dekany / Greg Schiemer.

Library shelf no. 785.67/SCH 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Transposed Dekany was written to be played by a large consort of musicians using a collaborative iPhone app called the satellite gamelan. Written by the composer in the Objective C language, this app makes the iPhone a performing instrument that is easy to play and quick to learn. Played as a consort, the instruments introduce both new players and seasoned instrumentalists alike to the world of microtonal music.

Transposed Dekany is composed in a 10-note microtonal scale created from five harmonics using a method devised by contemporary tuning theorist and instrument designer Erv Wilson. The scale is in fact two interleaved pentatonic scales which are harmonically remote from each other. Many additional pitches are heard as notes in the scale are transposed. Different parts of the work play different transpositions of the scale resulting in the creation of new timbres.

Sounds used in the work are mobile variants of software instruments devised by Jean-Claude Risset, the composer who pioneered creation of the first software instruments at Bell Labs in 1968. One sound used in the app is Risset's chorus instrument, the other is Risset's bell instrument. Variants of both sounds depend on selections made by players during performance.

Work Details

Year: 2012

Instrumentation: 64 iPhones - the work requires a very large consort of iPhones (iOS5 or later) running a purpose-built iPhone app called the Satellite Gamelan written by the composer. The consort can be located in multiple venues linked by streaming audio and vision. Alternatively the consort can perform the work conventionally in a single venue.

Duration: 8 min.

Difficulty: Easy — suitable for players new to ensemble playing and/or microtonal music

Dedication note: Dedicated to Erv Wilson. To Jean Claude Risset and Erv Wilson

Commission note: Written for the Space Time Concerto Competition

First performance: at Space Time Concerto competition (Newcastle Conservatorium) on 30 Nov 2012

Finalist in the Space Time Concerto Competition


Resonate article: Space Time winners: Orbis Tertius, Cat Hope, Greg Schiemer by Anni Heino

Resonate article: Satellite Gamelan at LA MicroFest by Greg Schiemer

Performances of this work

23 Sep 2018: at Sydney MicroFest 2 (East Sydney Community and Arts Centre).

22 Sep 2018: at Sydney MicroFest 1 (Bundeena Public School Hall).

22 Apr 2018: at MicroFest 2018 Metallophones and Cellphones (Drinkward Recital Hall, Harvey Mudd College). Featuring Harvey Mudd College American Gamelan, Bill Alves.

30 Nov 2012: at Space Time Concerto competition (Newcastle Conservatorium).

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