Giacinto Scelsi - Giacinto Scelsi was born on January 8th, to an aristocratic family living on an old estate in the country surrounding Naples in southern Italy. Though he had little formal musical training, he is now recognized as one of the most creative composers of our century. Scelsi revolutionized the role of sound in western music — his best known work is the Quattro Pezzi per Orchestra , each on a single note. These single notes are elaborated through microtonal shadings, harmonic allusions, and variations in timbre and dynamics.

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Maknongan, of , is therefore one of his last works, if not his very last, entirely original piece. On an immediate level, the music is as simple as possible, being aimed only at bringing listeners into a much-sharpened awareness of the overtone richness of bass sound.

A glance at his catalog shows that Maknongan is the third in a series of works investigating the darker registers. Only four minutes long, Maknongan is also possibly the most focused and abstract work Scelsi ever composed. Tuba, contrabassoon, string bass, bass saxophone, contrabass saxophone, bass flute, bass voice; any of these is suitable. The two extant recordings are for contrabass clarinet and string bass.

The part is digitally very easy to play, what Scelsi asks is the inverted virtuosity of supreme tonal control. From there, it branches out cautiously and fleetingly into nearby notes.

The effect, after each toe-deep excursion into the pond of another tone, is to make the principal note perceptually clearer and clearer. A solemnly chewing, controlled vibrato sneaks in as well.

These timbral embellishments displace and situate the central note at the same time, drawing a huge field of energy around it. Occasional leaps upwards of an octave fill out the outer overtonal regions like yellow flares cast upwards into darkness. By the end, when the G sharp has unnoticeably shifted downwards to a G, a strange and luminous sonic envelope has ballooned around the instrumental sound. Appears On.


Maknongan for baritone saxophone, tuba, contrabassoon, contrabass clarinet, or any bass instrument

Introspection Late Night Partying. One of the earliest interpreters Scelsi closely worked with was the singer Michiko Hirayamawhom he met in in Rome. Due to the enforcement of racial laws under the fascist regime of Benito Mussoliniwhich prevented the performance of works by Jewish composers, these concerts did not continue for long. Get to Know Us. These timbral embellishments displace and situate the maknongna note at the same time, drawing a huge field of energy around it. Jazz Latin New Age.


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