Five Hemispheres

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Five Hemispheres is the first microtonal album by Randy Winchester, released in 2006 on Jamendo.

Track listing

No. Title Tuning Length
1 One 7edo 8:30
2 Two 15edo 9:08
3 Three 21edo 9:06
4 Four 8edo 9:07
5 Five 22edo 8:58

Liner notes

These pieces took a long time to complete... I wrote them over a period of more than five years. They are composed from the top down, beginning with attention to the length of the piece and lengths and tempos of each section, but the pieces are not notated in a conventional sense. Although it is probably not at all audible, the pieces make use of serial (but not 12 tone) composition techniques. The intent was to incorporate some of what are considered modern radical techniques, yet the concept of the overall sound is conservative, even pedestrian, so that people completely unaware of such things as xenharmonic tunings would have only a vague sense that something might be different than what they are used to hearing. Several pieces include some English change ringing methods. I was learning to ring bells in a bell tower at the time I started composing this piece. It had never occurred to me that algorithmic composition was being developed during the 1600s!

The tunings employed for these pieces are equal divisions of the octave (EDO), and specifically:

One - 7 EDO, seven equal steps per octave. The same chord progression is used throughout in various permutations that go from about 30 seconds to more than three minutes. (The short middle section that is also repeated as the ending contains the entirety of the tonal material used in the piece).

Two - 15 EDO, although the middle sections omit most of the notes and are a 5 EDO subset of 15. Although it is not specifically "program" music, it is influenced by the Greek myth of Orpheus sailing as an Argonaut and overcoming the Sirens.

Three - 21 EDO. The middle section of this piece uses a 7 EDO subset of 21 and quotes some of the thematic material from One.

Four - 8 EDO. Although the structure of this piece was completely composed, almost all of the surface details were improvised, and most of what you hear was recorded on the first take.

Five - 22 EDO. The structure of this piece is an A theme followed by a B theme, then variations on the two themes.



External links