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Thoughts on Kya - By: Scelsi - Network4Musicians


Thoughts on Kya - By: Scelsi

Review Articles ◦ Musician
Created by: Kevin Robb
Sun, March 09 2014
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Kya – Scelsi
            What I hear in this piece and consider to be the main important features are as follows: Duration / Dynamic of lower register instruments, Clarinet lines throughout the piece, and both the synchronicity and slight phasing between harmonic events which lie underneath the Clarinet line.
            I feel that the dynamic and duration of the lower register voices are the most important feature of the piece – for it both establishes the atmosphere in which the clarinet plays within, and emphasizes the lines being played above with either unisons, octaves, or a pitch that contrasts the clarinet line, in order to highlight the clarinet, or to let it fade into the provided lower register fog.
            Perhaps the most obvious important feature is the Dominant Clarinet line. Not only does it give shape, contour, and direction to the underlying low register fog, but it also seems to direct the flow of the piece as a whole. For example, when the clarinet reaches what seems like a cadential phrase, or a cadence within a phrase - on either the micro, or macro level – the droning low register fog from the rest of the orchestra swoops in to either dynamically, or texturally (pitch wise) envelope the clarinet. This is in connection to the previously mentioned important feature, yet the distinction is that the importance here is that the clarinet dictates the latter.
            Lastly, but no less important, is the micro tonal phasing and aligning of the accompanying foggy lines. This is important for a reason that is sort of a compound point of the previously stated important features. This is because it is absolutely a feature part of the fog, which is directed by the clarinet, and that is important on its own – yet the phasing and alignment of the fog is important for the same reasons that the foggy lines, and clarinet lines are. To clarify – it is the micro tonal phasing that also pushes the tune along – it seems to stretch out time as part of the texture, on top of which, the clarinet is playing – so it affects the perspective in terms of duration. This feature also seems to push, and interact with the clarinet – either seemingly attracting, or opposing the clarinet line – which is again important, because the clarinet seems to more or less dictate the piece on a macro level.
            This may all seem like circular logic – but I feel that with the given nature of this piece, with all mentioned features playing key roles – that are all equally affecting one another, circular logic may just be the easiest way to explain it!
            In terms of relating this piece to the music we studied this term, I can confidently say, that it covers quite a bit of ground. I hear the use of micro tonal phasing, swooping liquid melody, atmospheric “fog”, texture shifting, or mutations, and extended techniques just to name a few elements… all of which reminds of Xenakis, Ligeti, Takemitsu, and for some reason, especially the two pieces of Giorgio’s that we listened to very recently!

Thoughts on Kya - By: Scelsi


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