Chris Redgate & David Gorton, at work in Nashville 2012

Posted on March 5th, 2012 by


The hunt for colour! At work at the Blair School of Music

Chris Redgate & David Gorton, at work in Nashville 2012

David Gorton=Austerity Measures

1st Performance(workshop version)-Turner Recital Hall, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University. Chris Redgate, Lindsey Reymore-Oboes, Trey Dayton, Shelby Flowers-Piano, Carly Lake-Horn, Agatha Yim-Flute, Ruta Vitkauskaite, Caroline Hart, Midori Komachi, Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Violins

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Chris Redgate-Multiphonia 

Live at Vanderbilt-recording unable to reproduce jaws of audience, hitting the floor.

Chris Redgate writes:

The Redgate-Howarth system oboe has over 2500 multiphonic sounds available (the standard oboe has about 830). Included in this list are a number of ‘beat’ multiphonics. David Gorton expressed an interest in the beat sounds and so, as part of our research on the exchange programme, we set about exploring their potential. From my own work prior to the exchange I had identified two sub-genre within this group of multiphonics; ‘stable’ and ‘malleable’ (these sub-genre are not recognised or identified in the printed literature). The ‘stable’ sounds produce a multiphonic with at least two discernable pitches which ‘beat’ against each other while in the ‘maliable’ version the performer can manipulate the rate of beat. We began our explorations by trying out finger patterns and identifying possible options and were particularly interested in combinations that are available only on the new instrument. As we generated fingerings David made early compositional decisions, rejecting some and listing others as potential material for his work. We worked with each fingering by adding/subtracting keys or altering the embouchure in order to explore the potential and, in each case, generated several more multiphonics. A significant number of these multiphonics exhibited specific qualities: they were very unstable, sometimes offering, randomly, several potential sounds, or, were on the edge of collapsing and failing. Such sounds would generally be rejected by a performer as unusable (and so would not find their way into published sources) but are exactly what David was looking for. This is a particularly interesting example of the value of collaborative activity. Our focus therefore was not only upon the beat multiphonics but more specifically upon these ‘failing’ examples. It was at this point that we began to think dramatically ‘outside of the box’. I experimented with both slightly depressing a free key and with using a finger to interfear with the airflow leaving a tonehole (this was achieved by placing the finger lightly on the tone hole but not depressing the touchpiece and moving my finger in a circular pattern above the hole): we observed an increase in the intensity on the beating. On some fingerings further beating increase could be gained by adding an additional key to this technique. Such an approach has not been referenced by any other performers and we believe it to be a novel approach to multiphonic production. We have not yet applied this activity to many multiphonics but it is an area for further research. As we worked we were able to develop collections of multiphonics that can be used in effectivly in David’s new work for oboe and strings. In addition to the multiphonics research we also explored the potential of the third- and sixth-tone scales.