Jonty Harrison - Ottone
  Year :   1992
  Location :   England
  Worktype :   Composition
  Materials:   brass quintet and tape.
  Info :   Fine Arts Brass Ensemble/West Midlands Arts. Premiere: Fine Arts Brass Ensemble; Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham, 1992. Preselected, Bourges International Electroacoustic Awards 1994.





 
Tape
Compositional_Function
  Work Details  
  - for Ali Ottone (Italian for brass) begins - literally - where my earlier piece for brass quintet, Sons transmutants/sans transmutant, leaves off. The throbbing sound of pulsed air is now expanded by electroacoustic means, heralding a deeper exploration of the timbral/spectral world of brass instruments than can be achieved purely acoustically. The ability of the electroacoustic medium to examine sounds at very close quarters, to get inside and deconstruct individual instrumental sound objects is here exploited to create a larger-scale work lasting almost twenty minutes. The timbral extensions, which range from transformations of straight brass sounds to the sounds of creaking doors, squeaking balloons, my younger daughter and spinning coins (brass is a slang term for money in the North of England!) stay in the domain of the tape part, with the live performers rarely venturing far from normal playing techniques. At various points, windows are created, through which reminiscences of Sons transmutants/sans transmutant can be clearly heard, and there are some significant moments, particularly towards the end of the work, in which the tape becomes overtly instrumental. Overall, Ottone moves in a kind of orbit around the nucleus of the brass quintet, a tendency underlined by the spatial dimension of the work: the players are required to move to different locations in the hall for certain sections, emphasising the changing relationships between the components of the ensemble, and approaching (albeit in a fairly rudimentary way) the ability of the electroacoustic medium (especially in diffusion) to exploit spatial considerations to the full. Ottone was commissioned by the Fine Arts Brass Ensemble, with funds made available by West Midlands Arts. It was composed between January and May 1992 and the tape was made in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of The University of Birmingham. It was first performed in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham in November 1992, conducted by the composer. I am grateful to Dr Andrew Lewis for his assistance during the making of the tape and for diffusing the tape at the premiere. Ottone was selected for performance at the 1993 International Computer Music Conference in Tokyo, Japan and has been recorded by the Fine Arts Brass Ensemble for CD release on the Merlin label.