Exploration

© 2012, MaLoMaLo Press

for Classical Guitar (amplified), Violin, Harpsichord, and Piano

Duration: 6:15 min.

Note: Guitar and harpsichord are retuned microtonally;

violin also plays microtones, and piano uses extended techniques

Program Notes:

Exploration has been for me just what the title suggests - an exploration. One idea I explored was alluding to the Indian structure for the piece. Indian form is tied more with rhythm than thematic material. It starts in a metrically ambiguous section in which the raga (similar to a mode) is explored. The percussion enters at the beginning of the second section, introducing the tala (similar to a meter), and the third section continues in a similar manner but with increasing speed and intensity. I also wanted to explore some of the vast reservoir of extended techniques the piano offers; I owe the majority of my discoveries in this field to David Cramer. Finally, I wanted to further explore the use of microtones as an integral part of my composition. Using the harpsichord, guitar, and violin allowed me to do this, yet I was also able to explore mode mixture since the piano cannot be easily re-tuned. The microtonal scale I used included natural second, third, and sixth degrees of the scale, and a minor seventh degree. Because of this, I used the phrygian and mixolydian modes for the piano, which approximate my microtonal scale by lowering and raising (respectively) the microtonal degrees of the scale a quarter tone. I considered these necessary alterations to be an obstacle at first, but in my exploration I was able to recognize the richness they added to the piece.

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