In Return for My Song: Learn More

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The play of tension and release is a vitally important element in our experience of music, and tonality, the hierarchical relationship between pitches or harmonies, is one framework that guides us. Much is asked of an audience experiencing new work with sounds that are less familiar but the ear is quick and can adapt to new sounds when context is there to guide us.

The centerpiece of this residency is a microtonal work by composer James Wood titled “Déploration sur la mort de Gérard Grisey." Microtonal music makes use of intervals smaller than the evenly spaced, Western semi-tone, and is used in a wide variety of music; from traditional systems of Indian music and Indonesian gamelan music, to rock and roll and the blues.

The Parker Quartet and Ian Rosenbaum will take us on a sonic adventure that explores the incredible variety of music that can be referred to as “microtonal” and works that stretch our concept of other tonal systems.

Public Events

Learn more at a free discussion with the artists on December 18th at the Putney Public Library

Buy tickets for the concert on December 20th at Next Stage


The following playlist draws from the great variety of music sometimes referred to as "microtonal". Many of these selections can be found online on You Tube, or through online stores such as Spotify and iTunes. Click on the links for additional program notes.

Jeff Beck (b. 1944), electric guitar About Jeff Beck
A Day in the Life-Live (Live and Exclusive from the Grammy Museum) (2010)
Over the Rainbow (Emotion and Commotion) (2010)
I Ain’t Superstitous (Beckology) (1991)
Definitely Maybe (The Jeff Beck Group) (1972)
Led Boots (Wired) (1976)

Jon Catler, electric guitar Program Note
Sleeping Beauty (2007)
Planet Slicer 1 (2007)
Planet Slicer 2 (2007)

Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012), composer Program Note
Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco (1980)

John Lee Hooker (1917-2001), blues singer, songwriter and guitarist
Boom Boom (1961)

A form of microtone known as the blue note is an integral part of rock music and one of its predecessors, the blues. The blue notes, located on the third, fifth, and seventh notes of a diatonic major scale, are flattened by a variable microtone.

Ben Johnston (b. 1926), composer Program Note
String Quartet #5 (1979)

Harry Partch (1901-1974), composer Program Note
Delusion of the Fury (1964-6)

Radiohead (1985-)
How to Disappear Completely (2000)

Tan Dun, composer (b. 1957) Program Note
Eight Colors for String Quartet (1986-8)

Nicola Vicentino, composer (1511-1572) Program Note
Musica prisca caput (1555)

Luciano Berio, composer (1925-2003) Program Note
Naturale for viola, percussion, and tape (1985-6)


John Lee Hooker
Boom Boom 
Download a PDF of the song text

How to Disappear Completely
Download a PDF of the song text

Now Playing on YB Radio

We look forward to the arrival of percussionist Ian Rosenbaum and the Parker Quartet with recordings of their performances, along with music we remember from last year's residencies.