Palette de Couleur et de Lumiere
The concept of a palette of instrumental colour and timbre is derived from deepest aesthetic principles of the work. The choice of instruments are essential to the colouristic balance of the work.
Tom-toms Bass drum
Small shaker Tambourine
Flute/Alto Flute Clarinet/Bass Clarinet
With the piano as the mediator, the opportunity for balanced and contrasting exploration of instrumental colour are great. For example;
The two types of combinations are demonstrated below. The first is cross-species representation where there is a contrast of both instrument and register.
The second contrast intrumental colour only.
This is similar to the first cross-species representation above. Here however, they are of the same instrumental family-the drum. Therefore the contrast is of timbre rather than colour.
This is a contrast of timbre and a subtle change of register.
With the keyboard percussion combined (which in terms of colour and register stretches a wide range)interesting cells of timbre and colour emerge.
The combinations are maximised when woodwind are taken into consideration:
Treble Alto Tenor Bass
Catergories I Flute Alto Flute Clarinet Bass Clarinet
Catergories II Glock. Vibraphone............. Pianoforte
Catergories III Cabasa Tom-Tom Congas Bass drum
Catergories can also be made in terms of metal and wood sounding instruments:
Vibraphone Wood blocks...
Like the previous work Apres La Mort des Artistes, the instrumental combinations are devised through an elaborate and complex plan. The leading figurative writing is divided between instruments that are intended to dominate the texture.
Pitch and Rhythm Generation
As this work is predominately a percussion piece for the nature of the pitch generative material is one that is closely associated with spectral processes. In other words pitch and rhythm are created side by side. Pitch and rhythm in terms of acoustics are inseparable-partials are elements of rhythmic displacement from the fundamental tone, tributaries form the main source. The displacement of rhythm causes irregular reverberations and alters the frequency of the tone. It is the amplitude of these pitches that determines the timbre and the colour of the tone.( Every acoustic tone consists of a multiplicity of overtones and partials that are semi-suppressed or active). The 'palette' of colour is derived from the conflict of rhythm and pitch that is created by the disparagement between the main tone and its off-shoots. Wave lengths are often drawn as regular curve lines that gradually expanding and then contracting in curvature but in reality pitch tones played on acoustic instrument rarely display such simple pattern. In acoustic instruments (violin,flute, trumpet and clarinets) the same pitch undergoes incredibly different manipulation according to the material its made of, manner in which the instrument is played, etc... The note is passed through several bands of partials of which some remain dormant due to their relative low amplitude or some partials come to the foreground. This effectively is an essential element that gives an instrument its sense of timbre and colour: