Program Note:
I have always been a composer, just that for many years my composition has dwelt on the plane of circuitry. More and more, I think of musical compositions, or performance situations, as “virtual instruments”; they are a “system” of space, performer, text, audience, and technology. These relationships between synthetic/organic, production/reception form the creative basis that “generates” the piece. At first glance, Tourbillons looks like a romantic/neo-classical score, but do not be deceived, for its source lies in computer music, misinterpretation as a motif, and a bit of the Seventh Harmonic.
-Peter B

Tuba is in B flat, French Horn is in F. The French Horn part is an exploration of the harmonic sequence “4,5,6,7”, played with the fundamentals of “A” and “F#”, thus there are only two fingerings used- first and second for “A”, and all keys down for “F#”. With those two fingerings, all the French Horn notes can be derived from harmonics. This is an exercise in “French Seventh Harmonic Technique”, to practice this resonance a microtone away from tempered 7th. The tuba part should be played normally; it does not use the seventh harmonic, although it is based on the French Horn part. Using the first valve to modulate by a tempered seventh, thus we can hear the difference tones between harmonic and tempered. This piece is about the about, about the instruments, and about the tools used to composite it.

The snare playing should be as mechanical as possible, preferably with headphones, a digital metronome set to quarter note equals 69. It was originally generated by a SuperCollider patch which exploited the opcode “Dust” to create meta-bursts of noise within a strictly quantized two-beat. Thus these “trills” can be played more elaborately than written, quod libet the percussionist.

The last measure is a vamp of the snare beat, with tuba solos, using any extended techniques desired, to make a grizzly monstrous sound, using the notes which are indicated in the measure. These notes are a compilation of the 4,5,6,7 harmonics off of “B” and “D” (“F#” and “A” on the horn); this compilation has similarities to the “jazz” implementation of the octatonic scale.

Drummer and Guitar shall sit out the beginning, then jam to a climax at the tuba solo, using the “B” octatonic scale just mentioned. For an example, listen to “Sejayno:Cezanno” (2010).

Page 4 starts a more “dronal” section, which is why it has less dynamics markings. This piece was composed by recording improvisations on tuba and horn, and arranging them in ProTools. That is why the rhythms here have micro-rhythmic offsets. What was in “organic” ProTools time-space, is coerced into the classical system of eight-notes, triplets, and dotted notes of Finale NotePad. In addition, a pitch correction algorithm was applied (Antares AutoTune), in a mistaken way (by sliding the clips in ProTools), to create artefactual articulations in the melody, which is most pronounced in page 3. Thus the hornist, to play this piece, must strive for a certain “computer music” sound, and be aware that there is a motif of misinterpretation.

stage design for “Tourbillons”, part of Sejayno’s opera, Cezanno, Baltimore Museum of Art, 2010.