Prelude; Henon; Gruneberg; Distance; Prelude
The initial idea from which this work spread was a short sequence of notes taken from a mapping of the Henon (chaos) differential equation onto pitch and duration. Certain themes in it suggested to me a piece, which developed into the current manifestation, although it has changed a great deal. The title is an echo of the well known quotation from Thoreau and the repetitive canon like structure of this differential equation. The work is in three movements, the second and third played without a break, with an introductory and closing fanfare.
The first movement, the longest, is subtitled Henon, and is a slow statement of the main musical material, derived from the Henon equation. It is played mainly on a marimba-like instrument, with injections from other timbres, triggered by certain events, and taking material from the Torus chaos function. An arbitrary limit of 500 events was chosen, the 500th event being marked by a different sound.
The second movement was conceived on a mountain in Austria called Gruneberg, above the town of Gmunden, which I climbed on a rainy day in September, while listening to some Xenakis on a walkman. The score is actually the same events as the first movement, but the instruments are drums, played at about twice the speed, with much stereo modifications, and there are other unstable motions of timbre.
The same score is used for the last movement, but the introduction of glissandi changes the mood to a distant memory of Gruneberg. The inspiration was a distant view of hills, both from Gruneberg and from my house. It is quieter, and I hope more reflective.
The pitches are all taken from an 100ET scale. The piece was realised in a mixture of ANSI C and CSound. The work took about 15 months to write, and lasts about 7 minutes.
Licenced under Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd)