Stephen Syverud

H A R M O N I E S (electronics)

Audio sample (.mp3)

Program Notes:

H A R M O N I E S is a composition influenced by another piece, H A R M O N Y, conceived previously for four channels of electronic sound. Some hierarchy of relationships always exist in music dealing with pitch. These kinds of compositions can only be considered as tonal. H A R M O N I E S contains pitches, and, therefore, terms used in describing tonal music (resolution, progression, voice leading, etc.) are applicable even though those relationships may not be readily apparent. A principle interval found throughout the piece is the descending major second. The microtonal changes in pitch between various source tracks produce a rich harmonic texture which thins as the piece proceeds, resulting in only the basic elements being audible near the final cadence. Formally, the musically materials are presented in their most developed state at the beginning of the composition and, as the piece progresses, the material is gradually simplified until essential elements can be heard. The contrapuntal voices result in verticalizations which produce progressions. Progressions produce a hierarchy of pitches. A hierarchy of pitches produce the sense of one pitch or group of pitches as primary which allows the term "tonal" to be applied to this composition. The piece was written for Paul Zonn, a terrific composer, great clarinetist, and wonderful friend. I think of him frequently since he died. The piece was conceived and composed at Northwestern University Electronic Music Studios (the Moog Studio) using both analog and digital recording, synthesizing and sampling equipment.

If you are interested in acquiring a performance recording of this piece, please contact me by email (kindly include your phone number).

I will request a small handling fee to cover reproducing & shipping costs.


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