and Mary Danced on Back of the Terrapin from Ritual no. 1 (Ascension of the Primes)

This is a recording of the third movement of Ritual no. 1: Ascension of the Primes, titled and Mary Danced on back of the Terrapin. Scored for for voice and electronics this movement of the piece is set in a 7-limit just intonation tuning. The electronic sounds were created inside of Max using FM and additive synthesis, in Melodyne by retuning samples from Jesus in the Shade of the Bodhi Tree, and in the Arturia CMI fairlight.

A human vocalist triggers changes in melodic sequences played by the computer by means of a frequency follower. The vocal part is semi-improvisational. In the first section, inspired by the Alap portion of Hindustani ragas, the order of introduction of the pitches of an E-flat mixolydian collection is fixed but the melody and rhythm is entirely improvised. The sequence pattern which dominates the middle dance-like section is hinted at during the introduction. In the dance portion a series of 7 different sequences can be triggered by the vocalist. Again, their order of introduction is fixed but the melodic movement of the vocalist as well as the timing with which they chose to trigger the sequences is improvised. The piece ends in a C phrygian and the material of the singer is entirely improvised save that they must end on the pitch C.

Kevin Swenson – Voice

For a chart which details the ratios, the notes used to trigger changes in the patch and the scales which accompany each sequence see the PDF hosted at this link.

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