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Conlon Nancarrow, Henry Cowell

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  • Conlon Nancarrow, Henry Cowell

    Well, I'm sure a lot of you or most of you know who these two are. Anyway, I think they are both a great inspiration for numerologist composing.

    Nancarrow used a lot of really fascinating polyrhthms and dynamic tempi and huge tone clusters and weird timbral variations. I find his stuff a wellspring of rhythmic and textural ideas for my music. This is one of my favorites.

    Nancarrow's music seems like it uses many of the compositional devices described in Henry Cowell's book, "new musical resources," that I just finished reading. It's a great resource for finding theoretical frameworks for dealing with modern musical devices, like different divisions of the beat, polyharmony, and tone clusters.

    In fact with microtonal music software and devices, these days, we have more resources for exploiting cowell's very interesting ideas about deriving tone clusters from the overtone series, and also for programming rhythms that are close to impossible to be performed by most instrumentalists.

    Cowell was also involved in very early electronic music... this machine was designed by leon theremin in 1932!

    It was made to demonstrate and perform some of cowell's interesting rhythms based on irregular divisions of the beat.

    Anyway, I just thought i'd share some of the stuff I've been inspired by lately

  • #2
    Thanks alot for the info. I'm mostly classically educated, but self learned improvisation. So it's new territory for me this! Very interesting I'll look closely at these musices, and report back, he ah he ho ha..