Title: On the Sensations of Tone I
Performer: Turning Point Ensemble - Owen Underhill - Conductor
Instrumentation: for 5 Instruments
Premier: October 7 and 8, 2015 Vancouver, Canada
Program Notes: The title of this work references Hermann Helmoltz’s classical acoustics text: On the Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music (1863). This book combines physics, physiology and psychological aspects of listening in order to explain the origins of musical notions of harmony and dissonance. I began to question if it would be possible to achieve a purely sensorial experience of timbre divorced from cultural and sociological influences? Thus, for this work I utilized culturally ‘heavy‘ musical objects and attempted to return them to a purely physical experience. These musical objects can be direct instrumental qualities such as the sound of a piano, or common musical structures, such as an octave. Through the use of various repetitive and contextual placements, I hope to remove the subjective notion of certain timbral qualities and represent them as pure sensorial objects.
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