Saturday, February 27, 2010

It's important, so we demand improvement

Pliable gets it exactly right:

A critic writing a savage review of a concert is considered to be doing his job, not being anti-classical music. But a commentator writing critically of the BBC's output is considered to be an anti-BBC heretic. Which suggests parallels between the BBC and the established Church. Both have been flattered for decades by unquestioning believers. Both are now in terminal decline. And the loss of both will be a great tragedy.

Unfortunately, it appears that this is far too subtle for the management of many of our institutions: criticism, when expressed because one finds the work or the institution so important that one wants it to be done better, simply gets heard (and used) as a vote against all such work or institutions of the sort.   This problem is far from confined to the U.K.. New music programming in German radio stations faces exactly the same problem, exacerbated by ratings competition from private broadcasters and the budget pressure put on by the extortion-in-the-guise-of-the-holy-cow-called-professional-soccer.  And let's not even get started on the US where new music has never been a presence in NPR affilliates and where slicing the schedule up to cover social or political interest groups has led Pacifica to all-but remove new music from its schedules.  So we're stuck in the awkward position of having to praise whatever does get programmed — even when it's mediocre or just plain crap — out of fear that anything other than praise will be taken as grounds for eliminating new music coverage altogether.  And — misfortune on top of unfortune — this tends to have the side effect of validating the mediocre programming instead of improving it, which just contributes to the downward spiral.   


Friday, February 26, 2010

Frédéric and Jimi and the ways of the hand

In this Chopin year, we're going to be hearing a lot about idiomatic instrumental composition, and in particular, the ways in which the physical, tactile acts of playing interact with aural considerations.  Most of the talk will, of course, be about the keyboard, from Bach (see here) to Chopin and on to Bartók and Ligeti (tactility is also a hot topic among the complexers).  But here is also a new article about the complex handedness of Jim Hendrix and his choice of a left-handed guitar.*


* Playing "wrong-handed" is a minor fascination of mine.  From time to time, one hears about pianos with inverted (right-to-left bass-to-treble) keyboards, which can be emulated with a good midi keyboard and are, at turns, frustrating and fascinating to play.  Also, there is the example of the violinist Rudolph Kolisch, a close associate of Schoenberg, who played left-handed, which offered an acoustic advantage in quartet playing and some advantage in teaching as well, as he could face his right-handed students and demonstrate with a perfect mirror image.   Noticing that some old recorders came with alternative seventh holes (one of which could be filled with wax), I once spent some time learning to play with the hands exchanged, an exercise which seem to increase both physical and mental agility.**

**I am strongly right-handed.  Once, in a theory class, when having some problem executing left-hand passagework at the keyboard, I whimped out and blamed my weak left hand.  My teacher, a student of Boulanger then said that this was no excuse, telling the story that Madame Boulanger would raise both hands and say "there's no difference."  I really wanted to shout  "Of course there's a difference, and that's a wonderful, musically interesting thing!" But I refrained, knowing well that my teacher liked to slap the back of his students' wrists whenever encountering either unsatisfsactory performances or dissent.  


Thursday, February 25, 2010

K is for Kaleidoscope

Variety, contrast, change. The liveliness of music is bound up with dynamism. La Monte Young is fond of saying that "contrast is for those who can't compose", but with all due respect to my teacher, contrast is essential — Young's own music is full of contrast — and the critical issue for composers is management of contrast, within the scale and scope of a given musical environment. To my ears, there is more dynamic variety within much Q'in or clavichord music — instruments which can never rise above the dynamic level of piano — than is available on the best made and played Steinway. The absolute range of dynamic contrast may be smaller, but the degree of differentiation, the scaling within that range, is much greater by being much more refined.* Even the most disciplined performance of Young's Any Integer (for Henry Flynt), a piece in which a single piano cluster is repeated as precisely as possible for a number (often a large number) of time soon becomes totally engaging through the discovery of the smallest possible variations.


Variety, contrast, and change can come from within or without. The most familiar childrens' kaleidoscope reflects colored stones or pieces of glass or plastic or paper onto parallel mirrors sharing a viewing tube with the objects. The relative positions of the objects can be changed by moving them within their chamber, sometimes by shaking, sometimes by turning, but the total range of available shapes and colors is contained. But there is also the teleidoscope, a variation on the kaleidoscope, in which, instead of objects contained within the tube, has a lens and an open view, allowing the internal mirrors to reflect images from outside. It might be useful to think of contrast in music functioning with a similar distinction.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

J is for Jetsam

Sometimes you have to just throw things away.   Notes.  Riffs.  Phrases.  Movements.  Whole pieces.  Big ideas.  Repertoires.  Let go of that impulse to save and use and reuse everything, to make everything important.  Just toss 'em.  Listen to Sinatra leave those notes out.   Or Carlos Kleiber rehearse a gesture so close to perfection that you don't have to, like, pay it any more attention.  These bits and stretches of music are more valuable — more musical — in their absence than in their presence.  Even more than that:  they are more present as music when they are unplayed, unheard, physically absent.  Every composer is uneven, not every piece is a masterpiece, and not every piece needs to be visited, let alone revisited.  Cast a cold ear.  Learn that being unsentimental, practicing unattachment, is often more musically sensitive than trying to own every last detail. 

I is for Invention

John Cage — this is from memory, so this is a paraphrase — said that "we need an avant-garde, otherwise nothing would be invented."  His tone was urgent,  it was for him a question of human survival,  and for Cage there was no meaningful distinction between physical and aesthetic survival, concerns that are made articulate in writings from his series of Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse) to the late Overpopulation and Art.  

Cage well knew inventors focused on physical survival: his father and Buckminster Fuller, for example, and he cheerfully accepted his teacher, Schoenberg's, identification of Cage as an inventor in the field of music; likewise, he was always enthusiastic about the musical inventions of his colleagues.   In Houston, many years ago, I was supposed to do a radio interview with Cage about his Ryoanji; instead, we spent an hour in his hotel room discussing the frequency response of PZM microphones and the Piano Mechanics of the Canadian composer Gordon Monahan: topics connected by an enthusiasm for invention.


Invention, musical and otherwise, is often equated with novelty, but just as often, the more important quality is utility.  The distinction here is important as novelty is not an inherently stable identification.  Novelty can fade and the invention can become familiar, or even escape further notice.   I don't wish to discount this transient value of novelty: music is an art of the moment and sometimes we need works of art that belong to one moment and no other, that are here and then gone.   But we can't be naive about this.*  Moreover, novelty is not attached to the invention itself but rather to the perception and — ultimately — memory of the invention.  

Utility, in contrast, does not necessarily imply a connection to a single, particular work or its perception, but rather to facilitating the production of work in general.  Tools. Techniques.  Processes.  With the right set of tools, the production of merely novel results may be trivial. With the right set of tools, once can build whole repertoires, not just single works.  


Some inventions are incremental, others represent leaps of imagination.  Sometimes successive inventions seem to make such narrative sense that in hindsight we forget the large gaps (consider the progression from Cowell's String Piano to Cage's Prepared Piano and then to Monahan's Piano Mechanics.)   Leaps can be elegant, but sometimes all the magic is in an incremental approach: someone — again this is my fragile memory at work — once noted that most mathematicians, when faced with the task of crossing a valley between two mountains, will suspend a bride over the valley but, in contrast, the method of the great mathematician Alexandre Groethendieck** was fill in the valley, stone for stone, until the two mountains met.  It is probably next to impossible to convey to my younger musical friends the excitement, in my minimalist youth,  that accompanied the news of each development in the music of Young or Reich or Glass or Lucier or Ashley, composers who built their music up from scratch or first principles.   (Perhaps you can still get a glimpse of this narrative of discovery and yes, invention, from Reich's Writings on Music or Lucier's Chambers.   The same goes for Cowell's New Musical Resources, Lou Harrison's Music Primer, Jo Kondo's essay on The Art of Being Ambiguous or even the first book of Stockhausen's Texte; texts by non-musicians that I find equally useful are the Pedagogical Sketchbook of Paul Klee and Lawrence Wechsler's Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin.)     

In a critical, even pessimistic tone, I have sometimes characterized our present musical moment as being one of consolidation rather than invention.  I may well be wrong.  I hope I am wrong. It may well be that my perception of a lack of useful inventiveness is more a function of my habits and memories than an honest assessment.  But the idea of invention does seem to be less valued these days than a kind of polish, just as the appearance of having an attitude is somehow more important than actually having one.   


* Note the name of this blog.

** Groethendieck ought to be the subject of an opera.  But I digress.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Báthory-Kitsz Performing Ensemble Competition 2010

This is brilliant.*  I rather hope that Dennis Báthory-Kitsz goes on to organize a similar competition for arts administrators. 


* please note the ethical policy here — unfortunately not practiced by all competitions — of guaranteeing a refund of the entry fee should a prize not be awarded in a given category.

Monday, February 15, 2010

H is for Hush!

The late Heinz-Klaus Metzger like to quip that Webern was the "last composer before the advent of air conditioning", as Webern's music presupposed an acoustical background absent a layer of aero-mechanical noise, sometimes constant, other times punctuating events with turnings-on and -off. But Metzger's quip wasn't quite right, as there isn't a concert hall anywhere or of any age that doesn't emit creaks and groans that have nothing to do with climate control. Foundations are forever unsettled, wooden parquet and panelling crack, light fixtures give off whole concerts of their own, and all these noises are joined by the breathing and wheezing and coughing and sneezing and fidgeting and what-not made when real live people are present.

This was brought home to me Friday night during a performance by the hr-Symphonie under Lucas Vis of George Crumb's early Variazione. As is to be expected with this pairing of orchestra and conductor, the performance was accurate and elegant, but the form of the piece, with the "empty" space between the individual variations, almost defeated the performance, as concerts and concert halls abhor vacuums, with the audience, orchestra, and the hall itself soon filled the blanks with clearings of throats, adjustments of bodies, instruments, and chairs and all other manner of hard- and software, and one became so familiar with the noises of spots and fresnels and cracking oak ceilings in these intermediate pauses, that they soon became unadvoidable percussive additions to the actual music. And this was in one of the world's better halls.

Cagian that I am, I work hard to welcome chance and contingency into my musical life. I'm grown up enough to know about the reality of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and all about the impossibility of Silence. But still... But still... But still, I have that hope (-against-hope), that dream of a platonic ideal, that fragment of belief, of experiencing music, as imagined, without the interruptions. Silence, like anarchy, is neither "real and existing" nor an ideal (as the socialists of the past put it and the capitalists of the present may well put it), but rather a tendency and an aspiration, and the task at hand is making music while knowing full well that it is.

G if for Gnosis

Beethoven read Kant, Ives read Emerson, Boulez read Mallarmé. We all know about John Cage's interests, with their varying degrees of connection to music, from anarchism to mycology. Milton Babbitt knows tin pan alley song lyrics, baseball and beer. Non-musicological "research projects" have practically become tradition among experimentalists and high complexists. (I've probably told too much around here about my musically tangential interests.) When it comes to the interpretation of the music, whether as performer or as listener, are these factoids important to know?

David Tudor, as pianist, was willing to read his Mallarmé — indeed willing to learn French — as what he believed to be prerequisite to learning a Boulez Sonata, but he was unwilling to read Emerson as prereq for Ives's Concord Sonata (Cage said that Tudor didn't want to "become a transcendentalist"). There are, however, marvelous performances of either work by pianists who have done none of the "required reading." In these cases, I suspect that the musical text itself is adequate for realizing a musical performance or listening to the work. The question is a subtle one: does knowing this information give the player a lift or a shove or an edge in getting into the work? is there added value in having the contextual information? or might there be cases in which the added information actually discounts the work? (There is an excellent discussion 'round this topic at Johnson's Rambler, here.)

For my own modest catalog of music, I don't think that knowing about my extracurriculars is necessary for players or listeners. But then again, there is some middle ground: knowing that I am fond of croquet or poker or mumblety peg, make really good larb or bak bao or that I read nighttime stories to my children out of Finnegans Wake might be of interest, without making it necessary for players to actually take a mallet or jackknife in hand, wager on a lonesome pair of jacks, steam dough, or even laugh at the Prankqueen's misadventure. But then again, who knows?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happiness and Wealth through Pickled Chili

(Some Friday Food Blogging)

In my never-ending search for the perfect condiment, a current strong contender is the Chili in Five Treasure Sauce sold under the Picklec Family brand.  The usual chili-flake-in-soybean-oil is here accompanied by roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, pine nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, making a pumped up, crunchy base for sauces and and a usefl table condiment for those dishes that are just not hot and crunchy enough.   

Even better: the manufacturer's website comes complete with a bit of pickled vegetable mythology (accompanied by cheng music): 

In the transition from Ming to Qing Dynasty,An Bangyan rebelled in Shuixi County Guizhou Province.  When General Yang Wencong who’s a man of gentle blood had leading Army of Yang to put down the rebellion,he issued an order to offer delicious food to his officers and soldiers as reward.  It was cold weather that the cook in the army added local rare plant into all cuisines which made the army highly praising those dishes with attractive color,natural aroma,pure and tasty and also provided them gigantic appetite and fighting in a refreshing way. They all curious about the mysterious thing,so the cook said that it’s called Capsicum from foreign countries and it tastes spicy to defend against chilly outside and to stimulate appetite. Henceforth Army of Yang ate pepper all the time and thus made the illustrious battle achievement that it followed the brand “Picklec Family” and spread it until now.

Nowadays Guanqun Foodstuffs Factory has not only inherited Army Yang’s traditional secret recipe but also deduced classical food culture. What is done is to innovate unceasingly new flavor to improve condiment industry by strong R&D capacity,affluent selection of products and comprehensive service,while to provide consumers “Picklec Family” food with perfect quality and tasty, safe and reliable. Both expensive and medium-priced product are excellent value for money.

This is probably the first time that I've seen military cooking used as an advertising point, but I guess if it worked for the Army of Yang, it's got to be good.  But wait, there's more! the website also expands on the company's traditional virtues:

Our value: honest and passionate;together we create value and enjoy life.
Our prospects:Expert of prickled vegetables and condiments; the leading company in the industry.
Our quality policy:high-quality and tasty; safe and trustworthy
Our belief:Inherited traditional technique , Deduced classical cuisines
Our goal: bring happiness and value to Shareholders and customers; provide opportunities for employees; create wealth for the society.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

West viewed from East

There's a nifty little narrated slide show about a current exhibit of West Coast minimal art at The New Yorker's web site, here.   Peter Schjeldahl's articles are one of the best things about the magazine of late, but jeez, his commentary here begins on the wrong foot by framing the west coast work as a reaction to that in the east coast.  This just can't be sustained given both the west coast origins of many working in New York (De Maria, Serra, Young) and the lack of familiarity on the west coast with much contemporary work on the east coast.  He then makes a distinction between the "finish fetishists" and the "light and space" artists that really doesn't hold, as l-&-s-ers Irwin and Turrell shared that "fetish" for a cherry-perfect surface.  (Also, the characterization of Irwin as a "minor" abstract expressionist painter is hard to sustain if you are actually familar with his hand-held, line, and dot paintings, which demonstrate astonishing technique and conceptions every bit as strong as his east coast colleagues.)  I realize that the view from New-York-center-of-the-known-art-universe is familiar and convenient, but wouldn't it be more accurate, useful, and interesting to talk  of a history with parallel discoveries and activities and complementary interests rather than tell stories about competing production and one-way lines of influence? 

F is for Field

At Wesleyan, years ago, I was a grad student member of a committee charged with designing a "core" sequence of undergraduate theory courses.  The program we began to develop still makes a lot of sense to me, having a nice overall shape and being connected to real (and really fine) repertoire.  The sequence began with a semester on musical materials and melody, with the focus on western chant, but taking advantage of the world music resources at Wesleyan and also examining aspects of melody in non-western contexts.  The second semester was about modality and counterpoint, concentrating on 15th century music — and especially Josquin — thus avoiding some issues of tonality that the usual focus on Palestrina would invite.  A third course was to be called Tonality, centered on the late 18th century Viennese style, and the fourth was to deal with Chromaticism and was the least developed of the four.  

None of these courses, as we envisaged them, could come equipped with any of the off-the-shelf textbooks then (or now), although Dieter de la Motte's  superb Kontrapunkt, had it been available and translated, would have fit well with the Counterpoint course.   Jon Barlow, the long-time generalist on the Wesleyan faculty and I joked about a "counterpoint book that would sell a million copies" with the Milleresque title Topic of Counterpoint, and my preferred title for the first semester of materials and melody was Field & Stream.

Of course, — being academe, even at an unorthodox place like Wesleyan — this sequence was never implemented, but that certainly doesn't mean it shouldn't be tried.


The metaphors of Field & Stream have accompanied my work for a long time.  (Perhaps it's a fault of mine, and I'd work more efficiently and productively without them, but I seem to need a metaphor to get a hand — or ear, as the case may be — on most ideas before I can make them work usefully and musically.)   

A field, in my usage, is an arrangement of available materials.   With pitches, for example, this reflects both my work in intonation systems with the elegant graphing techniques for tunings designed by Walter O'Connell and Erv Wilson and a line of working that begins with 12-tone row boxes and arrays and then the charts used by Cage in works of the late 40's and early 50's in which the items are no longer just single tones or pitch classes but often a mixture of single tones and aggregates of various sizes in various isolate, harmonic, and melodic configurations.  To these, structured, fields I have added the open or informal fields or collections found in works of the 50's and 60's by Christian Wolff (I seem to remember Christian also describing these as reserves or pools — see, other people use metaphors, too!) .

A stream is complementary to a field, it is cut through the field, as a route of resources consumed.   (Path might be the better metaphor, but sometimes the words just stick.)  The compositional issues involved in designing such a stream are obvious:  do you allow repeat visits to positions on the field?  must all resources on a field be consumed or must some resources be held in reserve?  are moves made by choice or pattern or chance?  are the resemblances or relationships in the field to be ignored or do they create constraints on movement?   what is the relationship between single moves and the overall contour of the stream? are there simultaneous streams?  if so, how are they related?  etc..


Some of my pieces have titles that refer directly to the idea of a field:  Field Study, ...finding the edge of the field...,  Crossing the Field, Fieldwork, Afar Afield, Farther Afield, and the unfinished The Art of Fielding.  I suspect that I'm not yet finished with fieldwork.





Sunday, February 07, 2010

E is for Echo

Echo, the nymph, is a blank.  We do not know her.  In Ovid, she acts (speaks)  but is not noticed, as Ovid gives her no personality other than unconditional love and timidity, only to give herself to an unconditionally conceited Narcissus.  We know Narcissus too well; indeed there is nothing more empty in us than when we echo Narcissus.  

But echo, the sound, need not be a blank.  It carries additional information: the time and strength of the delay, the resonances of the intervening spaces.  And that additional information is key to its musical utility, imitation being the basis of some of the most elementary techniques for creating musical complexity, with timing, strength, re-iteration and additional forms of transformation available to create a field of echo-based forms, from call and response and canon to the most elaborately and densely networked and transfigured forms of imitation.

In my electronic music youth, every manner of echo (from spring reverbs and echoing acoustical chambers and tape loops to the first commercial analog and digital delay systems) was useful and exciting.  But eventually — and, not coincidentally, as everything got, technologically, much easier — some boredom set in.  Echo had become too familiar and the imagined opposite of an echo — a system with prescience rather than memory — was impossible.


D is for Drift

Lesson of a late January snowstorm: you can't shovel the same snowdrift twice.   La Monte Young: Drift Study:  analog oscillators slowly, naturally drift out of phase from one another, calling attention to the emergence of complexity and detail in the most reduced     Phasing in early Steve Reich, first in the analog tape works, then in gradual, player-controlled phasing.  A move (drift, even) from informal to formal methods, from continuous to striated time;  a piece like Piano Phase emulates aspects of drift, but is too controlled and directional to be drift.  There's still plenty of good music to be made in the continuum between accidental and intentional drift.  


Paul Chihara: Driftwood (for string quartet with two violas): not a related process, but still a useful image.  


I heard quite a good performance of Morton Feldman's Why Patterns? Friday evening, a piece that shocked a generation ago with its asynchronous barlines (read more about them here), the players inevitably, yes, drifting apart, but is now just sweet music with as variegated and eventful a landscape as Feldman ever produced. (Whenever things approached familiarity, i.e. the patterns approached articulation at the surface, some surprising move would be made, usually involving a sudden change in registration or speed of articulation.)  One concern: the glockenspiel used was a very fine, state-of-the-art instrument, in-tune and well-balanced in tone throughout the entire range of the instrument, never displaying the typical mechanical clunk produced by standard glockenspiels; the poor little glock has drifted into high quality.  Feldman wrote with that not-quite-in-tune, awkward, and clunky instrument in mind; does that make performances like this one — as beautiful as it was — unidiomatic? 


The best conversations drift.  Conversations don't have the formal burdens of interviews or essays, of having direction, sustained themes and dialectical movement and all that.  Dale Pendell's Walking with Nobby: Conversations with Norman O. Brown is a nice record of the best conversationalist (and finest teacher) that I have known.



Thursday, February 04, 2010

C is for Citizen

I just had a chat with a composer colleague, someone who has sent in all his boxtops and made something of a career, with a teaching job, regular commissions and a good number of performances.  After making some snide remarks about sneaking out of concerts to avoid music from across some — to me obscure — new music-partisan divide, he went on with the ritual mantra complaint about lack of an audience for new music.   After calling the guy on his lack of consistency, I probed a bit deeper and was able to establish that although he was exclusively a composer of concert music, he didn't, actually, like concerts.   I stopped my questioning before I could figure out if he actually liked music, as that would have been too depressing even for a cynic like me, but I did suggest that concert music might not really be an optimal line of work for him.  

This encounter immediately made me recall the counter-example John Cage, who, in later years with all the seniority, fame, notoriety and certainly a full desk of his own work at home, made a point of attending as many concerts as possible whenever he was at home in town and took pride, when attending festivals or conferences in skipping some discussions but attending every concert.  I remember him once saying during a festival that "I want to be one-hundred percent" and, I believe, unless he was physically unable due to illness, he usually succeeded, even in uncomfortable environments like Darmstadt.  Here was someone with well-known preferences and associations who had fought and suffered through some horrible — especially when petty — turf wars in Newmusicland, who nevertheless went out of his way to hear music that he had good reason to expect to be outside his own taste range, challenging his own habits and preferences, and he — the self-identified anarchist, thus with some honest skepticism about communities and a disdain for most institutions — managed to provide a model for participating and contributing to the community.   

Note inégale

Roughly 1 in 4 Americans is employed to keep fellow citizens in line and protect private wealth. (Read more here.)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

B is for Boomlet

Music history gets told in a frustratingly elusive interplay of exceptions and the rule.  Do you point to odd and striking landmarks or do you describe more cohesive landscapes?  Take the uniform identification in the major textbooks of Pierre Boulez with the term serialism.  How much of Boulez's music is strictly serial?  The abandoned and unavailable Polyphonie X and the first half-book of Structures.   The opening of Structures 1a gets plenty of print and as much analysis as it can probably sustain, but dozens of works of the era by other composers would have been just as good, if not better, as examples (starting, AFAIC with several pieces by Goeyvaerts), yet its is Boulez who gets included, and probably on the basis of other works for which the serial turn of Structures and Polyphonie X was a necessary but non-productive cul de sac,  abandoned immediately by the composer's self-criticism within Structures itself: and students of music history are thus given a non-example as the most prominent example.   While there are certain techniques that Boulez uses in his mature works for which the strict serial experience was a prerequisite, in retrospect, Boulez's more characteristic, stylistic concerns were formed prior to that experience and — fed through his experience as a performing musician — form the greater continuity in his catalog.  Boulez's ability to re-work the clumsy, juvenile Douze Notations for piano (1945) into orchestra pieces of significant scale and even some grace more than half a century later is an elegant illustration of this.  But no, the example we continue to read about is Structures 1a.  In part, I suspect, this is plain laziness: "analysing" 1a is easy, very little more than a description or even just a list; the hard topic here is style, and that is never easy to discuss. 

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

A is for Alphabet

Ron Kuivila's Alphabet (1982), an electronic "setting" of the title made rhythmic, harmonic, and polyphonic by a canny use of off-the-self electronics,  is a reminder of the power of arbitrary arrangements — in this case the conventional sequence of letters — and the compositional utility of balancing the logical with the arbitrary and conventional.  Letters, in English, are themselves abstractions, holding places for collections — and often inconsistent — of linguistic sounds or constituent parts thereof, making the ordering into an alphabet an abstraction once more removed.  The sampled text is played through a pair of Casio VL-tones with their outputs going through a phase locked loop that would lock at a higher partial driven by the partials of a single oscillator, which multiplies the sampled word by small whole-numbered ratio,  creating an integrated complex of pitch, rhythm and timbre  (the integration of pitch and rhythm is not unlike the proportionate Harmonium pieces of James Tenney); the whole texture reinforces the harmonic substance of the text, itself composed of vowels with simple harmonic partials, yet selected and arranged in the word-internal ordering which tradition has given us.   A useful reminder of the how closely the organs for linguistic and musical perception and cognition are shared, yet how much musical potential can be heard in their differences.