Pitre / Ensemble – Organized Pitches Occurring In Time

Pitre / Ensemble – Organized Pitches Occurring In Time


Organized Pitches Occurring in Time consists of two 25 minute pieces of music, both spawned from the same conceptual composition/score by Duane Pitre, titled Ensemble Drones. With their form reminiscent of works by La Monte Young’s Theater of Eternal Music and their tonality touching on the floating works of Terry Riley, ‘The Ensemble Chord in Eb with a Minor 7th and a Pump Organ Base’ & ‘The Ensemble Chord in C with a Major 7th and a Guitar Base’ are aural tapestries based on a minimal tonal palette with their instrumentation consisting of guitars, alto saxophones, bass clarinet, violin, viola, cello, tone generator, and pump organ.


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The Ensemble Drones composition varies from the traditional sort as it is rule-based with the score consisting of a set tonic, set pitch classes, playing methods, technique restrictions, and spontaneous conduction. The score is a structure for the performing ensemble to improvise on – order spawning chaos producing order that is different on each occasion of a performance or recording. Ensemble Drones is discipline and freedom, both within each other, the first major focus of the work.

Variance is the second major focus of the composition; with instrumentation, ensemble performers, tonic, pitch classes, and the physical space varying from performance to performance, the results can never be the same.

One way to view Ensemble Drones is like a compositional “body”, as in the composition taking human form. The score is the skeletal structure that gives the “body” its general shape and feel. The pump organ, for instance, could serve as the circulatory system, the bass clarinet as the muscles, cello and saxophones as the internal organs, the electrically generated tones as the nervous system, guitars as the flesh, viola as the skin, violin as strands of hair, and the listener—the listener acts as the eyes. Not in the sense of vision, though—each listener will “view” the same compositional body differently, and, in return, the body will view itself differently with each new set of eyes. This helps to analogize the last major focus of the Ensemble Drones score/composition, which is perception.


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