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April 8, 2006, or thereabouts: A day of manic mischievous microtonal music making by dozens of denizens across the globe. Anything goes, in theory, but the crux of the internet side of celebration centered on creating a massive sound file for all to hear, a record of and testimony to people playing tones in the cracks everywhere.

Podcast(s)



1 - Dave Seidel - Sunday Afternoon

"Sunday Afternoon" is a piece of (gasp) tonal chamber music. I put this one out a few days ago as a MIDI retuning/rendering challenge here and on the Tuning list. This version is from JL Smith.


2 - Herman Miller - Lemba Galatsia

Lemba Galatsia is the latest result of my explorations into lemba temperament (named after a fictional island). Lemba was one of many 7-limit temperaments included in a long list that Gene Ward Smith detailed on the tuning-math list. At the time I referred to it simply as "Number 82". I'd been looking around for useful temperaments that may have been overlooked, and this one immediately attracted my attention. It has a useful 10-note basic scale, and two identical periods in the octave (it repeats at the tritone). Since 50/49 is tempered out, the tritone can represent either 7/5 or 10/7.

A while back I noticed that lemba temperament actually has a pretty good whole-tone scale. It has three different sizes of thirds, but two of them are close to the same size (around the size of 14/11); the other third is flatter than 5/4. So it occurred to me to try retuning Galatsia, which I wrote back in 1979, since it uses the whole tone scale
in a couple of places. I tried to keep more or less the original melody, but I've changed the harmony in some places to show off some of the harmonic possibilities of the 7-limit harmony approximations in lemba temperament.

I used mainly the EDIROL VSC for this new version, with the NI Absynth 3 for the brass and some of the accompaniment parts.


3 - Bill Sethares - MysteryX

The piece MysteryX was sequenced using a drum controller (Roland handsonic) for percussion and a wind controller (Yamaha WX) for everything else. All the sounds are from the "VSL Kontakt Orchestra", though with the timbres mapped to match the tuning, which was done by Little Miss Scale Oven. The "X" stands for 10-tet.


4 - Jacob Barton - Seventeen Pno

Two grand pianos, at right angle (sharps on the left blacks, flats on the right); one man, in wrong mood; five minutes glean'd from fourty-one; a faulty mini-disc, or microphone, leading to poor quality.


5 - Jon Lyle Smith - Quincunx

The original working title of this piece was, "THE MARTYRDOM OF SAINT HAROLD: Being the musical Depiction of Harold of Partch, the Blessed Patron Saint of Just Intonation; and his Martyrdom by upon a burning Pyre of his collected Works -- by an evil Cult of Tempered Theorists, led by his Nemesis, the unspeakable Professor Moriarty, a Mathematician".

After due consideration however, I opted for this title.


6 - Graham Breed - MMMDay piece

I used Csound with existing instruments. It uses an ssssL pentatonic scale with different tunings.


7 - Jon Szanto - Do Something

How could I pass by a day in honor of the music of the very list I helped start??? It would be churlish and desultory, and what better reason to stay up until 4:30 in the morning?

When I've had the rare time to sit down and play, I've been living inside of one of Al-Farabi's scales, the Greek genus chromaticum forte. But I decided to fill out 12 notes, and utilized Kyle Gann's chart to find likely candidates for an interesting - and decidedly non-ET-grouping of pitches.


8 - Yahya Abdal-Aziz - Bunga Seroja

I have the pleasure to announce a tiny submission, my arrangement of a traditional Malay tune, performed by Jon L. Smith.


9/10 - Carl Lumma - Sunny Shores

Sunny Shores is a 2-part piece I wrote on manuscript in 1997. It was originally conceived in 12-tET. I used the following method to perform it microtonally...

Music was entered into Encore (www.gvox.com) with a mouse and saved as MIDI. The resulting file for part 2 was then "humanized" slightly with Gunter Nagler's free MIDIHUM tool, to make chord attacks less annoying. Both performances can still safely be described as lifeless.

Scala was used to retune (with pitch bends) the files in about two dozen different 12-note scales from my scale library, with the help of a batch file in Windows XP. I also retuned part 2 in a number of ways with John deLaubenfels' BGE adaptive retuning program (www.adaptune.com). The results were auditioned in Winamp.

John's 7-limit adaptive tuning sounded best for part 2, but the MIDI file had some pitch-bendy glitches (in Winamp, anyway), so I decided against it. And none of the fixed scales I tried really worked, so I made one up based on what I'd heard, and by looking at the score. I used meantone as a backbone -- turned out it was possible to bring the septimal intervals up front without having the wolf occur at all.

!
Empirically-derived scale for "Sunny Shores part 2", Carl Lumma, 2006.
12
!
79.
194.
273.
388.
503.
551.
697.
791.
891.
970.
1085.
1200.
!
! 697-cent meantone (Bb-F wolf) with 11/8 and 30/19.

Part 1 is tuned in the 12-tone MOS of the 7-limit TOP augmented temperament.

The music was rendered to CD-quality WAV with Audio Compositor and Philippe Guillaume's version of Trachtman's 'Steinway C' soundfont.


11 - Rick McGowan - Five minute symphony in 15-tet

This here is a "Five Minute Symphony in 15-tet" consisting of 3 short movements. It is realized with Garritan Personal Orchestra with microtuning courtesy of Fractal Tune Smithy. Of course the tuning is 15-tone equal. It's scored for a small orchestra consisting of winds and brass in ones, piano, and strings.




All tracks are available here:

Prent Rodgers also produced two podcasts with material he received: