The Animation of Lists And the Archytan Transpositions

Document Type

Creative Work

Publication Details

Burt, Warren A. (2005). The Animation of Lists And the Archytan Transpositions, [2 CDs] XI Records, New York, USA, duration: 129 mins 13 secs.

Digital file not available. For access to the CDs (audio files), please contact Michael Organ, Manager Repository Services: morgan@uow.edu.au.



Research Background
Phill Niblock of Experimental Intermedia Foundation NYC, commissioned the composition for publication on his XI CD/DVD label, and specifically requested the tuning forks, a microtonal performance instrument built by Burt in 1985. It was composed using algorithmic software programs by John Dunn (ArtWonk), John Cage and Andrew Culver (IC). A multi-track performance scheme evolved, allowing two people to play all parts in a polyphonic two-hour composition: part 1 uses the 19-note just-intonation scale from the 1985 developed forks; part 2 uses computer speed transposition to transpose two of the three layers of the piece by tiny microtonal intervals resulting in a completely different set of harmonic and rhythmic worlds using the same material.

Research Contribution
Exploration of: * extended just-intonation as a compositional resource; * contemporary computer recording, processing and mixing techniques to create and extend musical material; * algorithmic compositional methods to create extended musical forms; * perception of extended musical compositions which evolve harmonically; * different microtonal harmonies as sources of different emotional affect; and * the context of the work created solely to be heard as a recording.

Research Significance
Since the commercial publication of the recording of this work through XI, the work has received about 50 favourable reviews. Excerpts from the work have also been broadcast on over 30 radio stations internationally. It is a successful artistic expression resulting from a number of experimental techniques, showing that these techniques can be used in works of emotional impact created on a large time scale.