Glover, Richard (2013) Approaches to microtonality in my own music. In: EUROMicroFest, 2-3 Feb 2013, Kunsthochschule für Medien, Köln. (Unpublished)

The paper explores approaches to the use of microtonality in my recent pieces, and aims to define overall conceptual threads linking them together. I will examine the diverse sustained tone pitch structures and notational procedures, explaining what role I want my notation to serve, and how the experimental performance tradition has directed the evolution in my notation through recent years. Interlaced throughout the paper will be many audio examples for clear contextualisation.

I will initially discuss why I was drawn to using sustained tone textures in my own music, and describe how the use of transformational pitch processes creates indeterminate clusters resulting in various acoustic phenomena. I describe how these sustained tone designs initially began as tablature, moving through the use of quarter-tones, until now largely being described in textual formats.

The paper explores how these indeterminate pitch clusters create a particular sonic identity, along with further explanation as to how the listener's perceptual grouping mechanisms process the music's vibrant surface layer. I will also briefly look at how these mechanisms affect our temporal perception of the music, contrasting this with the sustained tone textures of Phill Niblock and Peter Adriaansz.

I then discuss two string quartets which utilise similar gradual harmonic processes, but involving the superimposition of a just intonation tuning system. The use of this tuning system is explored, discussing its particular acoustic relevance to the pitch processes involved.

Finally, I will look at two recent pieces for keyboard, which use tunings from 12 - 24 tone equal temperament in simple harmonic processes. The manner in which these pieces contrast with previous work is explored through use of notation and the specificity of sounding result. However, similarities relating to gradual transformation are discussed, evidencing the compositional thread running through all the works discussed, despite their surface differences.

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