Saturday, May 26, 2007

Musique Arabo-Andalouse





A friend of mine gave me the album above just as I was beginning to write the music for The Islamic Republic of Las Vegas. I imitated the style in The Dance of the Testifiers, an early microtonal piece of mine which can be heard here and is also on my Music of Love CD. I was especially enamored of the fact that one of the musicians was playing a jet d'eau, and I imitated that as well. The tune was interesting in the way it handled the use of Just Intonation, as it modulated through a series of key centers and a series of corresponding tunings. However, when I later repurposed the music for the Celestial Bridegroom section of Little Girl, I gave up on the tuning and let the musicians fall back on their familiar quasi-equal-temperament training. I wrote a few new melodies and purloined one in the Arabo-Andalusian style for that piece as well, my favorite being one in The Knife, in the section that sounds a bit like Rimsky-Korsakov.

Thinking of the jet of water reminded me of an aborted project to write an opera based on Artaud's Jet of Blood, causing me to stumble across this lovely Australian production of this unproduceable piece.

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