Contemporary Classical – 10-tet
This piece is an example of why contemporary classical music can encompass a variety of genres. Free improvisation jazz is highly analogous to both the aleatoric explorations of Cage, Stockhausen, and Zorn and the improvisations in Indian music. Furthermore, musician-composers like Anthony Braxton would bridge the gap between jazz and contemporary classical, shedding almost all vestiges of jazz at times.
Final proof of the crossover is seen in players like Peter Brotzmann. He, and other Instant Composers Pool members, re-inject western themes into jazz, through the highly modernistic edge of contemporary classical.
This piece is highly influenced by Coltrane’s Ascension, Brotzmann’s angrier albums, and Ayler’s big band works. 8 wind instruments and two bassists take each note, joining together ad libitum at the highest volume possible. This cacophony is controlled by a chosen bandleader. The spoken words are said by the bandleader to act as rehearsal numbers and bring the players together. The sounds come from kecak music, a Balinese vocal music most interesting because of its place between a classical art and a tourism ploy. This reinforces the broadness of the term “contemporary classical.”
The introduction provides a number of simple harmonies, clusters, improvised melodic lines, and points of sound. A shout and a dense harmony followed by intense counterpoint lead to a held chord. The second section begins with a regular pulse and rhythm resembling a colotomic structure. The melodic lines class and float ove rthe pulse, softening the incessant metronome. Next, the piece becomes highly improvised, relying on the musicians as much as the material. Finally, solo sections end the piece, until the final hit.
This contemporary classical piece requires odd notation:
- x = staccato, indeterminate pitch
- #\nat\b filled note: determinate pitch, length indeterminate
- unfilled note: hold, indeterminate pitch
- ][ = cluster
- x][ = staccato cluster
- b][ = accidental only (black-key) cluster
- nat][ = non-accidental (white-key) cluster