“All aspects of sound are considered part of a single, unified musical time; everything can be reduced to the arrangement of pulses, and in electronic music, composition extends to the composition of the sounds themselves.” Karl Heinz Stockhausen (1928-2007)
With Stockhausen in mind I decided to experiment with the palindrome, DO GEESE SEE GOD, exploring what I could do with it in terms of sound designed through organised structure.
What he (Stockhausen) did was to use a method of writing music whereby the composer creates a tone-row. The tone-row is simply the 12 notes of the chromatic scale. The composer then puts them in an order where no note is repeated until all are played. I thought I’d apply these rules to DO GEESE SEE GOD.
In 1952 Stockhausen used this technique when composing ‘Etude’ – the earliest work of electroacoustic tape music composed by him and built around a 6×6 number square. I have applied his rules with DO GEESE SEE GOD to try out this technique on the palindrome. I won’t bore you with the formula for fear you might understandably glaze over. Other than that, the final piece had to work in sound as it did as words did on paper.
Here it is. Please remember this is the art of sound, not regular music.
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