Studies in Music

Aesthetics - Ars Inveniendi - the Farben Project

by Wim van den Dungen

Introduction

Neurophilosophy of Sensation

Aesthetics of Music

Ars Inveniendi

The Farben Project

Compositions

Biblio

OMNIA STANT HARMONIA. Anarmonia cadunt omnia. Nec erigitur, reficitur, restituitur quidquam, nisi ad Harmoniam relatum atque redactum.

All exists through Harmony. Disharmony destroys all. Nothing can be built, nothing created, nothing restored that is not related to and based on Harmony.

Tout existe à travers l'Harmonie. La disharmonie détruit tout. Rien ne peut être construit, ni créé, ni restauré qui n'est pas lié à et basé sur l'Harmonie.

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 - 1767)

Music & Life

Both my godfather and his love worked at the Royal Flemish Opera of Antwerp. She was a soprano, my uncle the financial director of the house. Given my parents were often abroad, this place entered my life from early childhood. Countless weekends I merged with what happened there during performances on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, but also roamed about, from top to bottom, in a nearly empty building. After many years, no corner remained unchartered. The button to produce stage lightning was known to me ... but thunder remained excluded, for only the technicians could carry the metal balls up ! 

Royal Flemish Opera of Antwerp

Between 1968 & 1974, the House staged all traditional operas and more. The extensive repertoire of this Great Opera House was playfully assimilated. Most of the time, before the huge burgundy curtain got lifted, I peeped through the "witness hole" and saw a full house from stage. Then secretly placed, I would listen, see and be enchanted.

In 1972, after a long carrier as a coloratura soprano, this aunt of mine became opera prompter. Many times, sitting next to her in her prompter's box, I witnessed the action on stage at footlevel and experienced how her mind would be five to seven bars ahead of what happened there.

She would whisper parts of the upcoming text, sing notes pianissimo possibile, suggest by gesture, warn the actors or try to remedy forthcoming problems (like the absence of a crucial prop on stage). Only seldomly did she had to raise her voice. Thanks to the shell-like roof of her box, nobody could hear her except those on stage.

Not unlike the conductor, who faced the back of this box, she was constantly focused, concentrated and using the score as a script.

This was a mere instrument of work, laden with thick red pencilmarks and other symbols added by her and previous prompters. To me it looked like a book of spells.

Since my early teens, composing music fascinated me, and my first sketches emerged around 17. Besides being, from early on, an avid listener, I also became a musical autodidact. This was combined with my academic pursuits : applied economics, philosophy (epistemology & logic), esthetics of music, sociology of music & comparative religious studies. In 1982, parapsychology & yoga came along.

In 1992, my fourth complete work, Mild Seasons for Sextet, was characterized by V.Soloviev (Member of the Union of Composers of St.-Petersburg) as follows :

"These pieces present themselves as short compositions in free form, reminiscent of the Suite. They are gifted with a very intense emotionality, it is true, on the plane : sadness/nostalgia, élan towards the hereafter, a certain infernality and cosmicism. Thanks to a particular harmony and the original composition : Alto Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Bass Clarinet and Piano, they show a certain national coloration."

This comes close to the heart of my music.

From 1993 onward, philosophy demanded my full attention, ending musical composition for two decades.

In 2013, with the pivotal Critique of a Metaphysics of Process (2012) finished, life felt like composing again. This activity parallels an unfolding study of music, involving esthetics, invention, coloration & the psycho-acoustics of music.


Composition & production are two distinct, interdependent but relatively independent phases. No doubt, the best musical production is an excellent & exemplaric life performance.

To hear their music well played by real instruments and/or vocals remains the dream of many composers. Luckily, good-enough electronic simulations are nowadays possible (real sampling). Usually not intended to be stand-alone, these approximations at best accommodate a fair aural estimate of how the piece sounds.

The electronic examples below (mp3, with CBR at 224 kbps) were sampled making use of GARRITAN sounds (GF, GPO4, GWI, GH, CMB, run on ARIA), EWQL Symphonic Orchestra & EWQL Symphonic Choirs (run on PLAY), as well as Xsample Library (run on KONTAKT 5). The score was written using FINALE 64bit. Audio files were computed by SONAR & AUDACITY. All of this on a Windows 7 Pro 64bit platform (Intel Core i7-3820 @ 3.60GHz, 18GB RAM). Retuning was accommodated by MELODYNE.

My musical meanderings are also published on this website (scores & electronic samples) and on www.soundcloud.com/sofiatopia. Each year, all things equal, new simulations will be made available.

These are usually provided in two formats. The first is the internationally established tuning system called "Equal Temperament" (ET, equal). This system (a) divides the octave into twelve equal intervals of 100 cent each (forming the chromatic scale), (b) has no pure fifths (in ET the twelve intervals are all "tempered", i.e. reduced by 2 cent) and (c) commonly roots pitch in concert pitch at A = 440Hz.

Next to this standard format, tunings and/or temperaments considered in line with the intent of the music are also given (like Pythagorean Tuning, Meantone 6th comma Temperament & Young's Irregular Temperament) and this at various Master Tunings, with a preference for A = 432 Hz or Verdi Pitch. The use of these alternative tuning systems is linked with the Farben Project, intended to return harmony to color & nature, and investigate the psycho-acoustic process (in various musico-social settings).

Please bear in mind I am an "amateur en musique" without any formal education in music. Because no degree can be claimed, free study is ongoing.

  Wim van den Dungen


SIMULATIONS 2013

 

Joyful Trio

Written in C major, this work for Flute, Harp & Cello is a straightforward and open invitation to joy. It initiates, after two decades, a new cycle of musical composition.

January 2013
Duration : 2'30"

 

 

Equal (440)

Pythagorean
(440)

Pythagorean (432)

 

Ending Winter

In C minor, an evocation of the period just before Spring for Flute, Oboe, Harp & Cello, inviting the end of the longest Winter of the past century.

February 2013
Duration : 4'30"

 

 

Equal (440)

Young 1799 (440)

 

Four Woodwinds

In E major, this is a small work for Flute, English Horn, Clarinet in Es and Bassoon.

February 2013
Duration : 4'33"

 

 

Equal
(440)

Meantone6 (440)

 

For Choir & Flute

This is a rework of the Four Woodwinds, replacing them, except for the Flute, by a Choir for Four Voices (Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Bass).

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus !
Dominus, Deus Sabaoth !
Pleni sunt caeli et terra
Majestatis Gloria Tua.

Patrem Imensae Majestatis !
Venerandum Tuum verum Filium,
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritus.

Magnificat !

Tu Rex Gloria, Christe !

Holy, Holy, Holy !
Lord, God of Hosts !
Heaven and Earth are full
of the Majesty of Your Glory.

Father of an Immense Majesty !
Your True and Adorable Son,
and also the Holy Spirit,
the Comforter.

(My soul) Magnifies !

You are the King of Glory Christ !

March 2013
Duration : 6'57'

 

 

 

Equal
(440)

Young 1799 (439)

Young 1799 (432)

 

Ave Maria for Soprano & Harp

In C sharp major and dedicated to Mary, this song celebrates the Spring Equinox. In the music example below, the Soprano is replaced by the Flute.

Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui,
Iesus.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.

Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and in the hour of our death.

Amen.

March 2013
Duration : 3'09"

 

 

Equal
(440)

Young 1799 (440)

 

Buffonic Fugue

Short Fugue for four voices in E major : Flute, English Horn, Bassoon & Contrabas Clarinet in Bes.

April 2013
Duration : 1'50"

 

 

Equal
(440)

Lehman-Bach (415)

River Scheldt

Song for Mezzo-Soprano, Flute, Cello & Piano in C major. In the music example below, the Mezzo-Soprano is replaced by the English Horn.

June 2013
Duration : 3'08"

 

 

Equal
(440)

Meantone6 (442)

Kekoe Zemaoe

For Small Orchestra & Bass Choir in E flat minor & inspired by the Ancient Egyptian night, in particular the last hour just before dawn (the XIIth Hour of the Amduat).

pHWii kkW zmAW

Phoe-ee Kekoe Zemaoe

End of Unified (Thick) Darkness.

msstW nTr pn aA xprW.f n xprii

Mesestoe Netjer Pen Aa Kheperu.ef en Kheper-ee

This great god is born in his manifestations of Khepri.

For more details consult my Studies on the Amduat.

August & September 2013
Duration : 8'15"

 

 

Score (in PDF)

Equal
(440)

Meantone6 (440)

Young 1799 (440)

Hymn to Petrox

Hymn in D minor for Soprano Boys, Alto Boys & Bass dedicated to the Chapel of Saint Petrox at Dartmouth.

May the Lord Bless with light,
Turn the heart, make kind the mind.
Always present and ever-bright,
In all His workings, day & night.

May He shield and bring to bear,
His great love, His endless care.
When we sail, He beats the gail,
Blows to harbor, keeps our trail.

High upon hill He takes our name,
Far from fear, free from fame.

In His moment of delight,
May the Lord bless with Light.

May His rock make strong our ways,
To stay with Him each gasp today.

September 2013
Duration : 5'10"

 

 

Young 1807 (432)

Theme with Variations

Seven variations on a theme in F minor for Flute, English Horn, Clarinet in Eb and Cello.

 

 

 

Equal
(440)

Young 1799 (439)

Young 1807 (435)

 

October/November 2013
Duration : 6'12"
 

SIMULATIONS 2014

 

Apeiron

Evocation in D major for Flute, Violin and Two Harps.

January/February 2014
Duration : 3'55"

 

 

Equal
(440)

Young 1807 (432)

Lady Macbeth

After Shakespeare's Macbeth, this piece in B minor evokes the famous Sleepwalking Scene.

The text of the scene is reduced to five lines :
"Oh ! Oh ! Oh !", "Out, damed spot !", "All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.", "What is done cannot be undone." and "To bed, to bed, to bed."

For Mezzo-Soprano, Oboe, Violin, Trumpets, Horns, Tubas, Trombone, Bass Trombone & Timpani.

March 2014
Duration : 10'11"

 

 

Equal
(440)

Young 1807 (432)

Caritas Dei

In E minor, from the Graduale Romanum (248) for the Feast of Easter.

The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts. Alleluia ! By His Spirit dwelling within us. Alleluia ! Alleluia !

For a capella Choir (Boy, Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Bass).

15th & 16th of April 2014
Duration : 3'30"

 

 

Equal
(440)

Young 1807 (432)

Aqua Sapientiae

In C major, from the Graduale Romanum (202) for the Feast of Easter.

He gave them to drink of the water of wisdom. Alleluia ! It will become strong in them, and will not be changed. Alleluia ! And He will exult them forever. Alleluia ! Alleluia !

For a capella Choir (Boy, Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Bass).

17th of April 2014 (reworked in December 2014)
Duration : 2'28"

 

 

Equal
(440)

Young 1807 (432)

String Quartet n°1

String Quartet in D major - 4 movements : Andantino Caloroso (4'37") - Tempo di Valse (3'14") - Largo Acquiscenza (5'30") & Larghetto Cantabile (3'07").

Just like the human voice, strings are difficult instruments to sample and so any use of them is approximate, at best. To more or less hear how a piece sounds does have some rewards.

May - 14th of July 2014
Duration : 16'27"

 

 

Young 1807 (435)

Lux Fulgebit

Piece in E flat major for Soprano, Choir, Flute, Trombone & Harp. Text from the Graduale Romanum (44) for the Feast of Christmas (Tempus Nativitatis), Ad Missam in Aurora.

Lux Fulgébit hódie super nos quia natus est Dominus !

A radiant light will shine upon us this day for the Lord is born unto us !

 

 

Equal
(440)

Young 1807 (432)

 

24th & 25th of December 2014
Duration : 4'37"
 

SIMULATIONS 2015

 

Three Minutes for Wind Quintet

Quintet based on the basic series (O, I & RI) for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in Eb, Horn in F and Bassoon (O = D# - C# - B - A - G - F# - C - A# - G#- D - E - F).

24th of March 2015

Duration : 3'00"

 

 

Equal
(440)

Duet for Violin and Clarinet in Bes

Duet in G minor for Violin and Clarinet in Bes.

15th of August 2015

Duration : 3'00"

 

 

Young 1807
(432)

Trio for Violin, Clarinet in Bes and Horn

Trio in G major for Violin, Clarinet in Bes and Horn.

10th of October 2015

Duration : 3'40"

SIMULATIONS 2016

 

Trio for Violin, Cello and Clarinet in A

Trio in G minor for Violin, Cello and Clarinet in A.

06th of June 2016

Duration : 3'25"

 

 

Young 1807
(432)

SIMULATIONS 2017

 

String Quartet n°2

String Quartet in A major (Young 1807 - 432)

16th of January 2017

Duration : 15'01"

Fantasie n°1

Fantasie for Flute, Alto Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Shakuhatchi, Clarinet in A, Salvi Harp, Venus Harp, Celesta, Violin and Alto (Young 1807 - 435)

23th of February 2017

Duration : 03'36"

© Wim van den Dungen, Antwerp - 2017 - philo@sofiatopia.org l SiteMap
initiated : 14 IV 2013 - last update : 09 IX 2017