Exhibition 15: A Book of Drones no. 7

A Book of Drones No. 7

Music created by Warren Burt

Duration: 8:23

A Book of Drones no. 7

Score: A Book of Drones no. 7

Composer’s notes:

This is an excerpt from the full length version of “Experience of Marfa: A Book of Drones No. 7.” It’s an excerpt of the score from 7:30 to 16:00. The piece uses a Balinese scale described in Colin McPhee’s “Music in Bali,” where it’s described as a “mutant Pelog.” Anything described as “mutant” is going to attract me, and the scale was indeed fairly unusual, with nicely dissonant relations between some of the 5 scale degrees. Marfa is a little town in west Texas, home of the mysterious atmospheric phenomenon known as the “Marfa Lights.” These are lights which appear dancing in the sky over the desert immediately east of Marfa about 2/3 of the nights of the year. The lights have been extensively documented, but so far resist explanation. On the night we were there, they failed to make an appearance, but my wife Catherine, who has seen them in the past, assures me that they do exist. The experience of Marfa, whether the lights appear or not, is one of peering intensely into a vacant, empty space, straining to detect patterns of activity, even where none may exist. Similarly with these drone pieces – a listening “into” the sound – hearing their inner patterns of activity may be as important as a listening “to” the sound – hearing the overall (very slow) progression of harmonies and colours. The piece was made in my home studio in Russell Vale in early December 2007, using a Roland keyboard and a Dell laptop running the LinPlug Octopus software synthesizer.

Warren Burt, 24 Dec. 2007

Sounds and text copyright © 2007 by Warren Burt


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