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In every breath of wind (sextets: brass, electronics, keyboard, string, woodwind)

by Ron Nagorcka (2010)

In every breath of wind


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In every breath of wind / Ron Nagorcka.

Library shelf no. 785.299216/NAG 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Apart from its important rhythmic and contrapuntal structure (displaying a lot of voice leading and canonic effects) this piece explores a scale devised by dividing the octave into approximately 36 intervals (of which only 24 are used). The reason for this division (rather than the more usual quarter tones) is that it more accurately approximates to those intervals generated by the seventh harmonic (the so-called "septimal" intervals.) This provides harmonies which sound unusual, but are more to the composer's liking than quarter-tones.

Work Details

Year: 2010

Instrumentation: Clarinet, trumpet, trombone, contra bass, pipe organ and electronics (midi keyboard controlling computer audio program or soundfont player with attached amplifier and speakers.)

Duration: 7 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — The 5 rhythm has its complications, and the piece is microtonal - using a scale which divides semitones into approximately 3 tones.The midi keyboard and organ parts are very easy.

Commission note: Written for a proposed tour of Norway (and a particular instrumentation) which ended up not happening.

The composer notes the following influences, genres, styles etc. associated with this work:
Quartertone music from the 20th Century and later microtonal works - especially those using just intonation. Similar harmonies can be found in recent European music featuring 31 equal tones to the octave which approximates septimal intervals even more accurately.

The necessary electronic "soundfont" files can be obtained from the composer. Alternatively the electronic part can be played by substitute electronic or acoustic instruments. Or the acoustic instruments might have electronic substitutes.  (e.g. the contra bass plays pizzicato throughout and could easily be imitated. ) The composer understands that this is a  peculiar ensemble, and is not overly fussy about the instrumentation.

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