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James Tenney

1934 in Silver City, New Mexico geboren, studierte in New York, Vermont und Illinois. Zurzeit ist er Professor an der York University in Toronto. Neben vielen anderen Auszeichnungen war er 1993-94 Gast des Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdienstes und lebte während dieser Zeit in Berlin. Er gilt als einer der frühen Pioniere im Bereich der elektronischen und vor allem der Computermusik und arbeitete in den frühen 60er Jahren bei den Bell Telephone Laboratories an der Entwicklung von Programmen zur computergesteuerten Klangsynthese und Kompositionen. James Tenney ist Autor zweier musiktheoretischer Bücher; seine Musik ist auf zahlreichen Plattenlabels zu hören.

In den 60er Jahren pflegte James Tenney einen aussergewöhnlich engen Kontakt zu der sogenannten New Yorker Avantgarde (Cage, Feldman, Browne). Sein Schaffen könnte als eine Art Fortsetzung der radikalen Trends in der zeitgenössischen amerikanischen Kunstmusik verstanden werden, so sein ausgeprägter Nonkonformismus wie sein Pioniergeist, was die Forschung und Verwendung neuer Stimmungssysteme betrifft.

Three Pieces for Drum Quartet (1974/75)

  • 1. " WAKE for Charles Ives " for Tenor Drums
  • 2. " HOCKET for Henry Cowell " for Bass Drums
  • 3. " CRYSTAL CANON for Edgard Varèse " for Snare Drums

"WAKE for Charles Ives" is a kind of "round" involving the cyclic repetition of a two-bar rhythmic phrase occurring in several of Ives' works. After every two repetitions, a new "voice" is added, playing the same phrase displaced one 32nd-note earlier than the corresponding notes in the first voice. As more and more voices are introduced in this way, the original figure is gradually submerged in a continuous series of 32nd-note pulses - its own, ever-widening "wake" of sound. The piece was originally conceived for a mechanical drum, designed and built by sound-sculptor Stephan von Huene, and currently on permanent display at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

"HOCKET for Henry Cowell" explores certain parallels between pitch-intervals and time-intervals first suggested by Cowell. In addition, various devices - including the mediaval "hocket" - are used to create an illusion of spatial movement.

"CRYSTAL CANON for Edgard Varèse" is based on the snare drum "theme" from that composer's Ionisation . Beginning with an initial fragment only, the complete figure is built up gradually in all four canonic voices. The resultant texture evolves by a process analogous to crystal growth - a process Varèse often compared to his own music. In the middle section, the retrograde form of the Ionisation figure is used, with snares "off". In the last section, the original figure returns, with snares again "on". At each of several repetitions of the figure, the delay-time between successive entries of the canonic voices is reduced, until finally the "theme" is heard in rhythmic unison in all four voices.

James Tenney

mehr Informationen über James Tenney: www.music.mcgill.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  von HYPERWERK 2002