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Ach wie fl├╝chtig, ach wie nichtig BWV 26

This is one of Bach’s Chorales, scored for SATB, performed on Prent’s Microtonal Slide Bosendorfer. The title means “Ah, how fleeting, ah how insignificant” in English. I broke the piece up into its 39 quarter note length segments, and either play it straight, or backwards and forwards using the Markov Chain Drunkard’s Walk. There are a lot of eighth notes, and in this version they are all discrete notes. I intend to make them have the option of slides in the next version.

The tuning is derived from the 31-limit tonality diamond, with each quarter note segment assigned a scale that makes that chord sound best, including with 6/5 and 5/4 thirds, 3/2 fifths, and 7/4 flatted sevenths. That leaves some harsh notes, as the commas between chords are pronounced. I may go back and make them slide from one chord to another so that they are masked. That’s for another version also.

or download here:
ach #1
ach

Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming #1

This is a transformation of Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming from the early 1600’s. Tuning is from the tonality diamond to the 31-limit, with each chord chosing the optimal 16 note scale to make the chord sound true. This leads to numerous comma transitions from one chord to another.

I use the Drunkard’s Walk Markov Chain to go forwards and backwards one chord at a time through the piece.

Stream online:


or download here:
Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming #1

rose

O God Our Help in Ages Past

This is a transformation of another of my favorite Hymns. The tune is attributed to William Croft (1678-1727). I’m reading about Winston Churchill in William Manchester’s three volume biography, and this hymn is referred to as popular during the Blitz in London 1941-42.

This version uses the Drunkard’s Walk Markov Chain to go forwards and backwards one chord at a time through the piece.

Stream online:


or download here:
O God our Help in Ages Past #1

ages

Das wohltemperierte Klavier I, BWV 846, Praeludium

wtc
This is a version of Bach’s first movement from the Well Tempered Clavier, the Praeludium. I absolutely love the version of this on the piano by Sviatoslav Richter, where he plays it so softly and perfectly.

This version uses finger piano samples, taken from an instrument I built back in 1978 or so. I’ve been using the samples for almost 10 years for all kinds of music. I carefully filed down a dob of solder that I applied to the tips of the spring steel blades so that the overtone is exactly two octaves higher than the fundamental. Without the solder, the overtone is enharmonic. I accidentally discovered that I could tune the overtone when I added solder just to get the pitch lower in a smaller space. The fact that I could tune it was a bonus I would have never known was possible. It was only by fiddling around with a small steel file and a soldering iron for untold hours in the basement room B-160 in Mandeville Center at U.C.S.D. that I made the discovery.

or download here:
wtc #5
wtc

Doxology #4

Here is another version with some slides showcasing Prent’s Microtonal Slide Bosendorfers ability to bend notes, even across multiple octaves.

The tuning is Just Intonation for each measure, but it changes from measure to measure, so the are many comma-sized changes from one measure to the next, where a note from one measure changes by a comma in the next.


or download here:
Dox #5
dox