Hexagonal Music

by David Victor Feldman

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My first published work--the score appeared in Ear Magazine--I composed this around 1979.

In a live performance (it had one) any number of players would receive the full score and a die. Everyone then starts playing at the measure located in the center of the score's hexagonal array. From there, all the players meander through the material based on throws of the dice. When the die points the way out beyond the boundary of the array, a player stops.

As composed, nearby measures contain similar material, so without too much trouble a listener could learn to hear the geometry of a realization.

Though the piece has no fiat sectional structure, by the nature of the process there emerges first a definite introduction, then a build-up, then a churning, dense, chaotic aural scene, then gradual reduction of forces reaching a more intimate, chamber music sort of texture, and finally a quiet finish as a duet or solo.

The idea of building an extended performance on a limited amount of material owes a debt to Terry Riley's In C, and the progress from the orchestral to the (possibly) solo might recall Haydn's Farewell Symphony. Perhaps the modal structure will distantly evoke Javanese pelog for some listeners. Finally the piece certainly derives something from certain works by my my teacher, the late Jonathan Kramer --- perhaps particularly his Moving Music for an orchestra of clarinets.


released May 2, 2015


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