Availability

A link to the electronic resources necessary for public performance will be supplied by the hire library upon request (hire@fabermusic.com)

Programme Notes

Ritual Melodies was completed at IRCAM in 1990 and explores the new possibilities of instrument modelling available in the program Formes. Jan Vandenheede constructed an Indian oboe, a Vietnamese koto, a shakuhachi, a Tibetan temple bell, a western plainchant voice and a Tibetan chant voice. Because all the sounds are artificial, anything can turn into anything, gradually changing vibrato, way of moving from attack to attack, etc. Their inner structure changes as they go. I wanted to bring together these highly individual instruments of ritual into a cross-cultural ritual which could not possibly happen in the real world. 16 melodies were composed, each morphing between two instruments. The melodies themselves form a chain: Melody A can combine with B to form a new coherent melody AB. Similarly B with C to form BC, and so on. There are many polyphonic webs which use these melodies, often in canon. Each melody uses the same array of pitches, which is a harmonic series omitting the lowest 5 pitches. Each interval, therefore is different from every other interval. So the piece as a whole reflects the natural acoustic structure of the instruments and voices. The Tibetan chant voices supply a deeper pitch level. Melodies are doubled to form chords later in the piece, and they are also reverberated to form 'clouds' which trail behind the melodies. © Jonathan Harvey

Ritual Melodies

Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, United Kingdom)

Ritual Melodies

Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, United Kingdom)

Ritual Melodies

Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, Royal College of Music (London, United Kingdom)

Ritual Melodies

Powell Hall (St Louis, MO, USA)

St Louis Symphony Orchestra, David Robertson

Ritual Melodies

Musiksaal, Universität zu Köln (Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany)

Michael Ostrzyga