Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Alto Flute duet (in progress) - Part I

I am working on an alto flute duet for a friend, who I'm hoping will be able to play it on some of her recitals in England this summer.

For the past year or so, I have been writing a lot of indeterminate music (my Master's dissertation focused on this). I have written some improv game pieces, but last year I began to write more detailed pieces that included some improv or indeterminate elements. It's been quite a change from my other work, which is far more determined and detailed.

This piece is primarily indeterminate in performance. Players can make a lot of decisions that determine how the piece will sound. Below is my sketch for the opening of player I's part:



I determined some chords that I wanted projected. In the first "bar" we have major-seventh chords. Player II will have the same chords, but different gestures. The first bar will be repeated 5 times, with each player choosing a different line for each repeat. There will be some extended chords and bitonal goodness when this happens.

I began just writing gestures, but I found they all had a similar contour. To break myself from this rut, I used an online random generator to help me determine the gestures. I generated 10 rows of 5 numbers (6 numbers in bar 2), using integers 1-8. The integers determined pitch and register. 1 = the root, 2 = the third, etc. (CMaj7: 1=C, 2=E, 3=G, 4=B, 5=C(octave up), etc...).

I entered the notes in Sibelius. Note: I am using the symbol tool to draw everything. I can't make a MIDI realization, but I can do proportional notation this way. It's hard to get notes to stay on the line or in a space, but it works reasonably well after fiddling (see this piece for a more finished example).

1 comment:

Adam Scott Neal said...
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