Five Movements on Modulations for sho, hichiriki, ryuteki, and electronics

Five Movements on Modulations (2014), commissioned by the Institute for Japanese Medieval Studies, Columbia University, was generated by my own Java program using a rule system, according to which pitch-class sets are transformed, or modulate, constantly throughout the piece so that they explore the entire 12-tone pitch space in various ways. The piece consists of five short movements, each of which explores the pitch space in a different way. Since the transformations of pc-sets in the third movement are so dense, the Java program employs a Lindenmeyer system to generate recurrent patterns which make easier comprehension of the harmonies possible.

The Java program generated score files for RTcmix, developed by Brad Garton, and its channel vocoder instrument, written by John Gibson, processes the sounds of the instruments and produces all the synthesized sounds.

I'm grateful to distinguished Gagaku musicians Hitomi Nakamura, Remi Miura, Rie Suzuki, and Takeshi Sasamoto for their excellent performances of this piece. I'm also indebted, again, to Jaroslaw Kapuscinski and François Rose for the Gagaku Project at CCRMA at Stanford University. Without their detailed, very clear descriptions of Gagaku instruments, I couldn't have finished this piece.

Akira Takaoka

New York
August, 2014

The following is the live performance of the piece at Miller Theatre in New York on March 30, 2014 (Visuals by Keiichi Tanaka).

Five Movements on Modulations was performed at Kioi Hall in Tokyo, Japan on June 14, 2014.

Five Movements on Modulations was premiered at the 9th Season of Glories of the Japanese Music Heritage: ANCIENT SOUNDSCAPES REBORN concert in New York on March 30, 2014.

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