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Neville Hall: and the snow'...Embedded audio
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There are two main forces shaping this work, which could be thought of as an "internal" force and an "external" force. The internal force is a process of growth that begins with a complex event heard towards the end of the composition. Variations of this event fan out in all directions across the work's temporal space, ensuring that every event has a relationship, however distant, to every other event. The detailed crafting of each event, with its constant microscopic fluctuations in pitch and timbre, reflects the detailed activity in a spectral analysis of the title of the piece, a line from one of Ezra Pound's Cantos. This analysis is expanded to have the same duration as the composition, so that the entire work is, on one level, an elaboration of a few seconds of spectral activity. The harmonic content of the spectrum is not, however, reflected in this rendering, but rather the morphology, with its evocative twistings, compressions and expansions. The harmonic organisation forms a third structural layer. It originates in the first five odd numbered partials of the natural harmonic series, built on the log 'G', an octave below the bass clef. Each partial forms the centre of a narrow band of pitches, from which the "melodic" material is drawn. Ultimately, however, the resulting contrapuntal writing is largely submerged in the surface timbral activity, as the other two structural layers tear at and distort its fabric.
Commissioned by 175 East, with assistance from Creative New Zealand
Dedicated to Jim Gardner and 175 East, with gratitude for their hard work and commitment
19 May 2002: Performed by 175 East; Hopetoun Alpha, Auckland