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Injust Intonations

(#BlackLivesMatter)
for solo piano

8,00 €
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Specifications
Region
North America (Canada - USA)
Estimated Duration
11 - 15min
Date
2016

ISMN : 979-0-2325-3204-2

Notes on this piece
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Injust Intonations is my first work for solo piano in fifteen years; my work has been since largely microtonal or non-tempered. I often utilize just intonation (pure tuning), micro-intervalic ornamentations, permutations, interpretation of various sound samples, and various techniques where the smallest unit is something smaller than a semitone: for example a quarter tone. With the piano and its equal temperament tuning, we are limited to the 12 notes of the chromatic scale. I wanted to write a piece where just intonation ratios were approximated to the chromatic intervals, but were also gradually unified and emancipated. I also wanted to limit myself to the keys the piano without any use of extended techniques.

The piece was written for Conrad Tao, but it is also a modest gesture in support of #BlackLivesMatter movement, their resilience, and the crucial role they fill in representing the voice of so many who are silenced. I started composing the piece last fall, shortly after the infuriating and unjustified shootings of Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott, and many others, which led to nationwide unrest and the polarizing refusal to stand during the American anthem of Colin Kaepernick.

The piece revolves around center of gravity D4, middle of the keyboard, and gradually moves outwards and inwards to registral extremes in the form of wave-like kaleidoscopic approximations of just intonation intervals; natural overtones are reflected to abstract undertones.

The piano writing here is not particularly pianistic. The instrument functions as a large resonating chamber and is treated more or less orchestrally. There are also superimposed symmetrical arch like shapes presented in a cloud-like polyphonic and polyrhythmic passage. This evokes imaginary broken music boxes; they bring back most sonorities previously stated in the piece in the form of a lush spiral or whirlwind.
Instrumentation
Piano
Recording
Live at the Aspen Music Festival
Conrad Tao - piano
Score Details
Format - A3 / Tabloid
Pages - 14


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