Duane Pitre

Duane Pitre: Organized Pitches Occurring in Time

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The two extended pieces in Duane Pitre's Organized Pitches Occurring in Time are derived from his larger conceptual work, Ensemble Drones, in which verbal instructions replace standard instrumental parts, and the musicians are asked to improvise somewhat narrowly on a set tonic, with specified pitch classes and within defined parameters. Thus, The Ensemble Chord in E flat with a Minor 7th and a Pump Organ Base has the same basic design and form as The Ensemble Chord in C with a Major 7th and a Guitar Base, because both performances follow the principles set out in Pitre's source composition. However, each differs in instrumental layout and physical placement, as well as in the quality of timbres, the timing of entrances, and the shaping of the music's expanding and contracting textures. Pitre and his highly focused Pilotram Ensemble continue the minimalist traditions of La Monte Young and Terry Riley in these simple yet densely multilayered works, and their slowly shifting tones -- played on guitars, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, violin, viola, cello, pump organ, and tone generator -- make these drone pieces shimmer and vibrate with color and energy. The middle "areas" of the pieces (one can hardly point to clear-cut sections in these continuously evolving performances) are quite loud and a little buzzing, so some volume adjustments may be necessary.

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