No 49 Fraction (2011)

For 4 musicians

Commissioned by: Flexible Music, with financial support from the Netherlands Fund for the Performing Arts
First Performance: Ensemble Omnibus, October 28 2011, Illkhom Theatre, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Instrumentation: Alto/Tenor Saxophone (or Bass Clarinet), Electric Guitar, Piano strings, Dulcimer & Sinewaves
Duration: ca. 10’
Special Features: Performance requires sound engineer, 3 separate click-tracks, stopwatch monitor on stage and amplification for all musicians.

Score samples

Listen/Buy: Ergodos on Bandcamp

Info/Program note:
Fraction is written as a companion piece to Phrase (No. 48) and is scored for the same basic setup, consisting of a wind player, electric guitar, percussionist and piano. Like Phrase, all instruments are amplified and follow either click tracks or on-stage monitor stopwatch. With the exception of the Wind part, the piece is entirely strummed, picked or hammered and loosely uses Henry Cowell's Harmonic Tempo Scales as an artificial means to create even tempo modulations on the basis of ratios. In this way each of the three attack instruments follow a different curve, with the electric guitar initially decelerating from MM 90 to MM 45 and then accelerating to MM 60, the piano decelerating from MM 90 to MM 60 and the percussion accelerating from MM 20 to MM 60. Linked to the tempo phasing, the strings of the three attack instruments - starting in unison - are continually re-tuned until a major 2nd apart at 3/4 of the piece, thus gradually moving apart in tempo as well as pitch before reuniting again at the end. Ideally, Fraction should be performed together with Phrase.