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Ellipsis, complete score

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for 6 keyboards and electronics
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  • Ellipsis

    for six keyboards & electronics

    Duncan MacLeod

  • Ellipsis Commissioned by Piano Circus

    Premiered Kings Place, London, June 2009. For six keyboards (tuned in Just Intonation) with electronics.

    Keyboards The keyboards are to be arranged in a closed circle formation. Each keyboard is to use a grand piano timbre, which should sound as realistic as possible. Furthermore each keyboard is to be detuned from equal temperament to just intonation each with a individual fundamental to tune from (keyboard 1=A 2=E 3=B 4=F# 5=C# 6=D#). This can either be realised by detuning the keyboard (via MIDI system exclusive dump) or alternatively through a external soundcard/sampler via MIDI out. Each keyboard will also require an expression (volume) pedal to realise the dynamics of the work. This can either be plugged directly into the keyboard or if no expression inlet is available a guitar volume pedal can be used to control the actual audio signal coming from keyboard/soundcard. Spatial isat ion. The spatialisation and movement of sound of the discreet outputs from each keyboard is crucial to this work. To emphasize this there ideally needs to be at least one dedicated channel/speaker per keyboard placed in a formation that compliments the ensembles circular arrangement placed around the audience (see diagram below) alongside a sub woofer if appropriate. The output from each keyboard is connected to a central computer running a MAX/MSP patch, which applies the relevant reverb, and diffuses the sound (using an Ambisonic external) across the speaker array. Variat ion of the work There is a reworking of this piece for two keyboards and fixed media adapted for the piano duo duoDort. The only difference here is only two performers are required - the technical setup remains as above.

  • Ellipsis suggested floor layout, speakers in hexagonal array.

    Audience Audience (in the round)

    CH 1 CH 2

    CH 5

    CH 4

    ENSEMBLE IN CIRCLE FORMATION & SOUND

    ENGINEER.

    CH 6

    CH 3

  • Programme note

    This work is a study experimenting with a number of parameters, such as polyphony, just intonation and process. The latter stems from what has been a long fascination in the visual counterpoint that we encounter every day, be it the interweaving cyclic structure when passing a gasometer, observing a hanging mobile or the movement of celestial bodies. Furthermore Ive been keen to work with perception of distance and speed, such as when travelling how distant objects appear to be static and then accelerate as we pass these by. Part of the ongoing challenge has been how to interpret these ideas into music to which this work exhibits my attempt so far.

    DM 2009

  • q = 63Duncan MacLeod

    Ellipsis

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