And now for something a little different for all you turtlenecks out there...:)
[hr][size=8pt][b][i]Prime Ordinals[/i][/b] [i]for delayed djembe, Tibetan bowl, and digital audio[/i] is my first venture into the world of writing for a soloist with digital audio accompaniment. It was composed in Winter of 2007 for a very talented percussionist, Alex Harmon, who will give its premiere at the UAF New Music Festival in Fairbanks, Alaska next month. It is written specifically for the djembe, a drum of African origin which is capable of producing a wide range of timbres. This piece is formed from an ordered sequence of prime numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, 11), in which the ordinals occur as grouping of notes, time signatures, phrasings, or the amount of semi-tones spanned by the portamento in the audio accompaniment.
Also used by the performer is a Himalayan singing bowl which marks certain points of the ordinal sequence at the start, middle, and end of the piece. This instrument appears prior to occurrences of phrases based on the number 3, which is thought by some to possess cosmic powers that connect our universe in intangible ways.
The djembe calls for a ";delay"; – a digital effect causing the accoustic sound of the drum to be repeated at a pre-defined number of milliseconds. In the case of ";Prime Ordinals,"; the delay is to be set at a rate of 333.33 milliseconds, which will repeat the performed sounds back in the timeframe relational to eight notes when the quarter note tempo equals 90 beats per minute. As such, the delay effect plays a critical role in forming the overall rhythmic outcome when combined with the sounds originated by the soloist. The resulting whole should represent a new composite where the interplay can be very deliberate, sometimes chaotic, but always greater than the sum of its parts.[/size] [hr] The djembe used on this mock-up recording is from Virtual Drumline. With any luck, I'll be able to share a live recording from one of Alex's upcoming performances. I hope you enjoy.