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"Cardhu" is the
penultimate work in my series of pieces bearing a 'single malt whisky' title.
The work was commissioned by the Transit Festival for New Music in Leuven (B)
and by the Spectra Ensemble who first perform the work on October 24, 2008 at
the opening concert of the 2008 edition of the festival, conducted by Filip
The piece is scored for 8
players and is -in the first place- a further exploration of the
spectral/harmonic preoccupations which I -in a way- discovered in my opera
"L'uomo dal fiore in bocca" about two years ago. The music is still
basically spectral, of course, but I extend the harmonies by frequent use of
extra quarter-tones which aren't necessarily part of the basic overtone series.
I found out that the music remained surprisingly consonant, in spite of these
adjunctions, and I wanted to go further into this exploration, also by the use
of lots of (mostly quite slow) glissandi. On the other hand I've recently been
quite preoccupied by the concept of motion in spectral music and I also try to
extend that idea in this work. The tempi are fluctuating, it's the first time
in ages that I've written accelerandi and ritardandi, and I suppose it
certainly will have quite an influence on the feeling of the music. Finally, some
melodic aspects also come forward, albeit in a less prominent way. The fast
passages are at first very brief, almost like signals for the slower music
following each time, but in the course of the piece these passages gain
importance and gradually become longer to culminate at the Golden Section of
the work. Towards the end the difference between these 'fast' and 'slow(er)'
music is almost abolished and the piece ends -so to speak- in "total
harmony" with itself.
The score is dedicated to
Mark Delaere, director of the festival and to Filip Rathé, the conductor of the
Spectra Ensemble and also a great composer and friend.