Tag Archives: 2006

Eighty-one ninth chords

Eighty-one 9th chords (2006) by Jacob Barton

for two pianos tuned to 17edo

Program note from 1st performance (Seventeen Tone Piano Project Phase Two)

There are three types of thirds in 17-edo; let’s call them subminor (4/17-oct), neutral (5/17-oct), and supermajor (6/17-oct). If a ninth chord is composed of five notes separated by four thirds, cialisfrance24.com then there are 3^4 = 81 of them in 17-edo. You will hear each of these once. Begin with the smallest — all subminor thirds — and end with the largest—all supermajor. The rhythm will help you keep track of the unfolding expansion. If you like the logic of this piece, I recommend the composer Tom Johnson.

Program note from second performance (Señor Recital)

In Eighty-one ninth chords you will hear 81 ninth chords, each one a different type. I tried in the piece to let them be themselves but also connect them. Since composing it I read in Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet (an autistic savant who sees and feels certain things when thinking about certain numbers) of nine as a number of particular immensity to him. This is exactly what it does here—phrases of length 2 or 8 feel even; 3 or 9 is ever a stretch.

Recording here:


Update: new recording made with Pianoteq is featured on effluve ana moontense.

Score here:

De-quinin’ for two clarinets

Thie piece was written for Maiko Sasaki in 2006. Of the two clarinets, one must be tuned flat by 33¢. Composing this piece, I pondered how to make interested uses of the intervals of 36-equal when only 24 of them were available. Listening to this piece, one can evaluate to what extent it is possible to precisely detune a clarinet by that amount, given that the tuning of the clarinet is not actually 12-equal.

Whenever composing for two instruments of similar timbre, my temptation to treat them like one single über-instrument is strong. Many passages in De-quinin’ are one- or two-part textures in which a contiguous line is formed by alternation between clarinets. The final section’s speedy hockets are tricky to do in live performance, and if done successfully will begin to sound like a third instrument, not clarinet at all.

The title for this piece came from a 20-consonant poem I composed:

zap!  be a vat of mayo,
ajar. whack!
de-quinin' ex-glass.

“De-quinin'” refers to the quine, in computer programming, a program which produces its own source code as an output.

The score to De-quinin’ looks like this. The audio to one clarinet part is available here.