Windstorm/Snowfall #2

I’ve added some new instruments to make some more variety. The piece is now scored for French Horn, Alto Flute, Trombone, Tuba, Finger Piano (2 kinds), Marimba, Baritone Guitar, and Balloon Drum. The Finger Pianos, Baritone Guitar, and Balloon Drum samples are my own, the rest came from the McGill University Master Samples. The slides are added using Csound. Lots of slides.

Here are the instrument definitions. Every time one plays, the pre-processor chooses loudness, stereo location, audio envelope, chance of actually playing or being silent, a “z” factor that displaces a few milliseconds in time, the randomness algorithm, and the octave.

.frnh c2a0u0&wind-vel*.&sid*.&wind-env*.&frnh-ran*.g0&horn-z*.&all-pva.&ver-oct*.
.alto c3a0u0&wind-vel*.&sid*.&wind-env*.v+9&alto-ran*.g0&horn-z*.&all-pva.&alt-oct*.
.trom c4a0u0&wind-vel*.&sid*.&wind-env*.&trom-ran*.g0&horn-z*.&all-pva.&ver-oct*.o-1
.bass c5a0u0&wind-vel*.v+10&sid*.&wind-env*.&bass-ran*.g0&horn-z*.&all-pva.&bass-oct*.
.finb c7a0u0&fin-vel*.&sid*.&arp-env*.&finb-ran*.g0&arp-z*.&all-pva.&fnb-oct*.
.mari c8a0u0&fin-vel*.&sid*.&arp-env*.&mari-ran*.g0&arp-z*.&all-pva.&arp-oct*.
.guit c9a0u0&gui-vel*.&sid*.&arp-env*.&guit-ran*.g0&arp-z*.&all-pva.&gui-oct*.
.fing c10a0u0&fin-vel*.&sid*.&arp-env*.&fing-ran*.g0&arp-z*.&all-pva.&arp-oct*.
.bal1 c13a0u0&ball-vel*.&sid*.&ball-env*.&bal1-ran*.g0&ball-z*.&all-pva.

There is extensive use of the Drunkard’s Walk, and more will follow soon as I extend the piece out over time. Imagine a drunk walking on a snowy walkway with ice under the snow and wind gusts. We had 18″ at Snoqualmie Pass in the last 24 hours. That’s almost an inch an hour.

Or download here: Windstorm/Snowfall.


I’m just noodling around with a 15 limit tonality diamond in 72-EDO. In most traditional classical music there is a heavy reliance on the circle of fifths to build towards a satisfying conclusion. In the tonality diamond, I find the same sense of inevitability in the circle of utonality or otonolity.

Here we go down the diamond from the C Major in the center to the lower right with otonality on each of the following:
C Major, Ab Major, F Major, D+ Major, A+ Major, F+ Major, E- Major back to C Major.
Then we go up the diamond from the F Minor in the center to the upper right, with utonality on each of the following:
F minor, A- Minor, C Minor, D+ Minor, G Minor, Db Minor, Eb Minor back to C Major.

&Cnmajx.&all-ver48. &all-ver48. &all-ver48. &all-ver48. &vel.d48d*4
&Abmajx.&all-ver48. &vel.d48
&Fnmajx.&all-ver48. &vel.d48
&D+majx.&all-ver48. &vel.d48
&A+majx.&all-ver48. &vel.d48
&F+majx.&all-ver48. &vel.d48
&E-majx.&all-ver48. &vel.d48
&Cnmajx.&all-ver48. &all-ver48. &all-ver48. &all-ver48. &vel.d48d*4
&Fnminx.&all-ver48. &vel.d48
&A-minx.&all-ver48. &vel.d48
&Cnminx.&all-ver48. &vel.d48
&D+minx.&all-ver48. &vel.d48
&Gnminx.&all-ver48. &vel.d48
&Dbminx.&all-ver48. &vel.d48
&Ebminx.&all-ver48. &vel.d48
&Cnmajx.&all-ver48. &all-ver48. &all-ver48. &all-ver48. &vel.d48d*4

Or download here: Windstorm/Snowfall.

Herzliebster Jesu – more instruments

I’ve added some slides and trills to the horn parts, and added a tuba on the bottom. Of course no Prent Rodgers piece would be complete without finger pianos, so I added those as well. They are enveloped to sound more like an organ. Here’s the function table as input to Csound:

f283 0 1025 6 0 384 .5 384 1 128 .5 128 0 ; e15 one hump towards

And here’s what it looks like.

Or download here: Herzliebster Jesu.

Herzliebster Jesu – Original 4-part harmonization in 72 EDO

I’ve completed all 65 chords of the chorale. My goal in choosing pitches was to use as many small number ratios as possible. I need to do some more work on some of the chords. For now, I’m happy with the first 40 chords.
I’ve represented the first chord like this, from bottom to top. The ratios in the first column are from the key of B to this note. The next column to the right are the ratios between the 1st to the 2nd, the 2nd to the 3rd, and so on. The next is the ratio of the 1st to the 3rd, 2nd to the 4th, etc. The last is the 1st to the 4th. This gives me a good overall view of consonance.
The 9th chord in the piece looks like this, with a flatted seventh:

This is a chord not in use during Bach’s time, as far as I know. The 21/16 in the bass is an 8/7 from the key of F#. But it’s a passing tone in this use, and hardly noticeable. In the 15th chord, the first one in the second stanza, it’s in the soprano part and held for a quarter note, so it sticks out. I’m sure Johann would have slapped my hand on that.


When we get to chords 45-58, pictured here, I go way out on a limb, then saw it off.
I picked some weird notes for the D# in chord 52. I’m going to have to go back and redo that section.

Or download here: Herzliebster Jesu.

Herzliebster Jesu – AKA “Ah, Holy Jesus”

This is one of the chorales in the St. Matthew Passion by J.S.Bach. I used to sing it as a soprano at St. Peter’s Church in Albany, NY in the 1960’s. They would wheel the boys out when it was our turn to sing, then wheel us back in as the rest of the numbers were performed by the adults. This is just the first 17 chords, played straight up. Let’s see what it sounds like when it gets the drunkard’s walk treatment. But that’s for another time.


Or download here: Herzliebster Jesu.

Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me #6

I’m just about finished with this hymn. At this point I am just generating new versions until I find one I like. The piece is scored for French Horn, Trombone, Tuba, Finger Pianos, and vibraphone. The tuning is 72-EDO, using the following notes:

This version goes forwards and backwards in the piece at different times as much as 10 chords at a time, plus much use of the drunkard’s walk markov chain where it’s random whether the next chord is forwards or backwards in the list. This iteration includes chords 1-14 plus 36-42. You never hear 15-35, since the piece is only 4 1/2 minutes long. There seems to be a bug in Csound tempo operation that is limited to 100 tempo changes in a piece. I’ll try to track that down with the developers.
Rock of Ages Toplady
In the mean time, enjoy iteration #6.

Or download here: Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me.