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Tellus #14 'Just Intonation' (1986)
Contributing Editor: The Just intonation Network
from the cassette insert:
WHAT EXACTLY IS JUST INTONATION? Just Intonation is any tuning system in which all of the intervals can be represented by whole-number ratios, with a strong preference for simple ratios. Jim Horton, one of the composers, explains it further: "Just Intonation is a collection of ideas useful for eliciting a distinctive and attractive quality in music that is difficult to put into words, but which can best be characterized as maximum clarity".
Just Intonation is not a particular scale, nor is it associated with a particular musical style. It is, rather, a set of principles which can be used to generate an infinite variety of scales and chords, which are applicable to a variety of musical styles. The sixteen composers represented here come from diverse musical backgrounds. Their interest in Just Intonation may be the only characteristic that all share. The tunings they have chosen are as varied as their compositional techniques or their aesthetic goals.
- The Just Intonation Network
Engineered by G. Lindahl at Studio PASS. NYC, 1985. Publishers/Editors: Claudia Gould, Joseph Nechvatal, Carol Parkinson. Assistant: Debbie McBride. Contributing Editor for this issue: The Just Intonation Network (a project of Other Music Inc.).
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An excerpt on this release from 1/1: the Quarterly Journal of the Just Intonation Network. ed. David Doty, Volume 2, Number 3, Summer, 1986:
Network Tape Released!
The long-awaited first Just Intonation Network member compilation cassette is assembled and ready for distribution. Now the sounds of Just Intonation can, in the words of Ivor darreg, "be heard." It is released as Issue #14 of Tellus, the audio cassette magazine. Sixteen outstanding selections are included in the sixty-minute tape. From acoustic instruments to the most advanced digital synthesizers, from naive to academic, from classics to cutting edge, from 3-limit to 17-limit and beyond, an amazing diversity of styles is demonstrated on this cassette.
The selections were made by a committee of members of the network and final editorial decisions were made by the Tellus people in New York. Our thanks are offered to all who submitted entries. What follows is a complete list of the contents of this historic collection:
The lead cut was reserved for Harry Partch's O Frabjous Day! (The Jabberwock), a previously unreleased performance. The network is grateful to Danlee Mitchell for making the recording available to us. It is a setting of Lewis Carroll's poem featuring Mr. Mitchell on bass marimba and Mr. Partch intoning his voice and playing harmonic canon This piece was written in 1954, but is presented here in a 1959 recording captured by a Sears Silvertone tape recorder.
Member Ralph David Hill's Malachite is a short piece performed on the Quadvox computer synthesizer, a device of the composer's design and construction. Mr. Hill is known to members as the creator of the Sounds of Just Intonation lecture/demonstration package distributed by the network.
Network co-founder Carola B. Anderson serves us her recent composition, Shibboleth, a liturgical frolic performed by Other Music on an amalgam of acoustic, electric, and electronic instruments.
David Hykes, of Harmonic Choir fame, contributed an Opening Kyrie, a solo voice piece recorded in the church of St. John the Divine in New York. This haunting performance is one of the most dynamic demonstrations of harmonic singing imaginable.
1/1 front-page phrasemaster Lou Harrison contributed A Phrase for Arion's Leap, a legendary 1974 composition performed in free intonation.
Guitarist Jon Catler submitted his Sleeping Beauty suite from which we excerpted the Queen of the Ogres section. This movement highlights the funky side of Just Intonation.
David Canright tenders up Rosier Sands, his snappy composition for the Harry Partch instruments and performed by Danlee Mitchell.
1/1 editor David Doty dishes out a generous helping of Smyrna-blues influenced Fake Greek Music, a recent composition performed by Other Music on a variety of instruments and employing 17-limit Just Intonation.
John Bischoff, Jim Horton, and Tim Perkis in the guise of The League of Automatic Music Composers constructed a piece utilizing a microcomputer network trained to produce, perceive and respond to certain just intervals.
Ben Johnston's Toccata for Violincello features some virtuosic played by Laurlen Laufman.
Member Erling Wold is featured on Synclavier in his syncopated, polyrhythmic Tune for Lynn Murdock #2.
Susan Norris offers a Medley: Untitled Irish Jig/Untitled Swedish Waltz which she and Fred Carlson perform on the Suzalyne, a violin-like instrument of her own design.
James Tenney's Septet for Electric Guitars is presented here from a recent live performance. It's a rockin' ride up and down the harmonic series.
Mills maven Larry Polansky submitted his Movement for Andrea Smith (My Funny Valentine for Just String Quartet), a thoughtful piece thoughtfully performed by a multi-tracked John Casten.
Alexis Alrich is represented by the tango section from her Didymus Set, a solo performance on her troubadour harp.
Gamelan gangleader Jody Diamond offers In That Bright World a piece performed on Gamelan B.A.N.G. and featuring Ms. Diamond's mighty moving lead vocals.
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