Perfect Harmony for David Dunn
by Warren Burt
Duration: 15 minutes 34 seconds
Last November 2014, for Soundbytes Magazine, I wrote a review of Bazille, a new software synthesizer from u-he productions in Berlin.
Playing with this synthesizer, I noticed the many different ways you could control pitch on the machine. All sorts of just-intonation and other microtonal things were not only possible, but easy. And you could also combine different ways of controlling pitch for even more complex results. So I began to work on a piece that used some of the pitch possibilities of the synthesizer. As I worked on it, I began to explore some of the upper reaches of the harmonic series, and was pleased with what I heard. I remember Harry Partch once said that “Just-Intonation dissonance is a whole other serving of tapioca.” As dissonant as some of these sounds are, they do, from a just intonation point of view, constitute a “perfect” harmony. Over the course of the piece, the harmonic world changes so at the end it is much more consonant than at the beginning. So there is a kind of harmonic tension and resolution in the piece, albeit a very extended one. The piece was written for my friend David Dunn, a fellow explorer of extended realms of tuning for many years, as well as his own work in musical interactions with environmental phenomena.
Texts and sounds © 2015 by Warren Burt