Mean Tone – when pitch goes bad
For solo alto or bass flute
In July 2008, I was standing at the top of the Duomo, looking at the Renaissance architecture of Florence and trying to work out how any composer could get any work done here. Does any of this inspire me artistically? Should it?
What relationship do I have with this beautiful environment, or to the timeless works of art that were created here? Do I have anything in common with the pieces of classical music written in such a historical place, or the composers who wrote them? Should I?
Based on this personal quandary (and perhaps a touch of Stendhal Syndrome – the psychosomatic condition caused by an overload of art), I wrote this piece, using a very stretched-out Phrygian cadence. It gets stuck on the first 4 notes (a 3rd inversion dominant 7th chord), with adverse, quarter-tone tunings as melodic and timbral inflections infiltrate its harmonic function, disrupt its direction and attempt to destroy its beauty.
Instrumentation Genre Solo instrument
Duration 8 minutes
Instrumentation Alto flute [1 player]
Publisher Tetractys _
Performances of this work
- Nocturne & Sunrise, by Eddie McGuire
- Meditation on Da Day Dawn, by Katherine Wren
- Carry His Relics, by Gemma McGregor
- Album Release: MIDI Times & Spaces by Neil Tòmas Smith
- Quartet No. 6 (Remix)
- Iconnotations - Made In Scotland Showcase
- Musical Postcards from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra players
- New album - prismatic - released 24th June
- Gillian Walker Commissioned by Live Music Now
- UK – Russia Creative Bridge grants programme
- UK-Japan Collaboration
- Marketing and Communications Manager — Scottish Ensemble