Hardcore Trilogy


The Phantom Zephyr
A bit more hard-edged than most tracks I've written so far, this has been simmering in my head for a few years. It's inspired by two somewhat insignificant notes in John Adams' Hoodoo Zephyr, and more substantially by Terry Riley's Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band. It features yet another experiment with time signatures. In the middle of the piece, and again near the end, a saxophone plays in 7/8 time over the track's regular 3/4.

© Alan Wrigley Jul 2018  


Dulvanger Curve
I can't really explain this one. Initially it was a bit like a nightmare but as it progressed it lost its menace and just became strange.

© Alan Wrigley Jun 2019  


Occam's Stubble
This piece has been in my head since 1996, when I bought a Yamaha DB50XG synth card and played with it for a while. This started as a doodle based on a riff from Soft Machine's Facelift and expanded in my head into a complex piece of music built on overlapping tempos of five and seven beats to the bar.

Occam's Razor suggests that you should not choose a complex solution if there is a simple one that meets the criteria. I prefer to not choose a simple solution if I can find a more complex one, so this piece therefore stands in the way of Occam's Razor, hence its title.

It's in several sections. The first has 5-beat and 7-beat themes overlaid with equal beat lengths, so that the bars are of different lengths and the downbeats are only in sync every 35 beats. Section two is mostly in 7/4 time with a few brief bars at the end where again the two time signatures overlap out of sync. The third section is nominally in 5/4 time but there are several places where a 7-beat theme is overlaid, but in this instance the beat lengths are changed so that 5 beats of one equals 7 beats of the other. This leads to some complex juxtapositions of notes which can sound strange if you don't know what's going on. The fourth section reprises the first starting with a slow variation on the theme, and the finale is one long bar of 70 beats, which is of course a multiple of both 5 and 7.

I had great fun doing all this. I hope I've blunted the Razor.

© Alan Wrigley Jul 2019  


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