microtonal/xenharmonic music | front page news
A long-awaited interview with compelling Finnish composer Juhani Nuorvala is now up! Nuorvala teaches at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and is well-known for his beautiful and evocative work that often uses microtonal tunings and just intonation.
We are pleased to add a great event to our roster: The festival/conference known as Microtonal Adventures Festival, which will happen on May 18-20th.
The event will take place in the beautiful surroundings of the Pacific Northwest, in Bellingham Washington.
Check it out!
The 2018 International Composition Competition rules have been posted! We expect to start taking submissions within the next few days. We are excited to see what the next crop of excellent compositions will look like! This year, the theme is Béla Bartók-inspired microtonal pedagogy, ala Mikrokosmos.
We are happy to announce the arrival of a new board member, Robin Meiksins, who was approved unanimously by the current board, at the beginning of March, to join our efforts. Robin is an outstanding flutist in Chicago, and an active member of the contemporary music scene. She will be performing some solo and wind ensemble UnTwelve-commissioned microtonal works at a concert in Chicago in September of 2018. Her presence and efforts will surely help us grow and attract new interest. Welcome aboard, Robin! We are also sad to see the departure of Clem Fortuna from our board. Clem leaves due to pressing personal and professional commitments, and has been a highly valued member, due to his vast knowledge and highly visible activity on the microtonal scene for several decades. Clem will be most missed, but will surely be still engaged, but in a lower profile. Best wishes and many thanks for your work, Clem!
In an exciting interview, the creative artists behind the MikroJazz! project, Philipp Gerschlauer and Dave Fiuczynski, discuss the genesis of their innovative work together, the creative process, and their thoughts on microtonality in the music of the future.
We are please to announce a call for scores for a September 2018 concert in Chicago. The instrumentation is: flute, clarinet, bassoon, and trombone. Electronics are welcome, as is the composer appearing in their own work. This call is open to composers of any background, age, or nationality, but will prioritize works from composers who are women, non-binary, genderqueer, gender-non-conforming, or agender. You can submit for this event at our Google docs page for the call.
As promised, we have Elaine Walker in the house!
She has much of interest to say about past, present, and future projects.
Coming soon: 2 new interviews with:
- Elaine Walker (aka ZIA)
- Phillip Gerschlauer and Dave Fiuczynski, co-creators of the new MicroJazz! release
We think this video on Renaissance-era tuning is very entertaining, interesting, and informative!
Noted academic microtonalist and musician Stephen Weigel was just interviewed. He's done some great work creating a microtonal incubator called the "Xenharmonic Music Alliance" at Ball State University. A worthwhile read!
Theorist/guitarist Paul Erlich had a discussion with us recently. Check it out!
Check out this interview on thetrapset.com with our community's very own wizard percussionist, Jon Szanto, vet of Partch's ensemble!
Hard to believe, but the next iteration of summer camp from June 22-26 is around the corner. Please be aware that early bird pricing ends after April 15th, 2017, and prices will go up $50...so sign up soon!
A new interview is up, this time it's with Neil Haverstick, guitarist and composer.
Check out our review of the latest album from Brendan Byrnes, Neutral Paradise.
We have some new information up about the next iteration of summer camp in June. Pretty pictures of our 2016 experience at Circle Pines are there, too!
Happy New Year everybody!!! For your tax-deductible year-end contributions, consider giving to UnTwelve! Any amount you can will help us get a leg up on 2017.
Camp rates are now reduced, and range from $285 to $365. Take advantage and apply for the summer camp today!
Some activities we’re planning for micro-camp this year, with special guest Kyle Gann:
- Kyle talks about his own compositional craft and relationship(s) with Just Intonation
- Checkin’ out (analysis, listening, discussion) the Ben Johnston String Quartets
- ditto for La Monte Young's Well-Tuned Piano
- 23-edo kalimba ensemble
- Linear Temperament geek-out
- rehearsal and performance of works by some of the participants, by the Un12 Micro Orchestra (i.e., the participants)
- arguments, and microtonal food fights by the campfire -- with smores!!
Plans are heating up for our next Xenharmonic Camp adventure, for Summer 2016. The locale will be the lovely Circle Pines Center in Michigan, and our special guest this year is Kyle Gann. The dates are 8/25 to 8/29. Rates are between $285 and $365, depending on your lodging options. Included in the rate is food, lodging, and the program itself--which promises to be fun, exciting and musically enriching!! Please go to the camp page, apply and sign up!
We are pleased to present a nice interview with London-based EDM/IDM composer Sevish, aka Sean Archibald.
Our final interview from the 2014-2015 competition is up! This time, it's with our 2nd place winner, Shaahin Mohajeri.
Another interview from the competition is up: this time with our 4th place winner, Carlo Tenan.
Do you like the new look of our site? Let us know!
Also, please check out two new interviews: our 1st place and 3rd place winners from the 2014/2015 competition now have interviews up, and more will follow, including and very-quickly upcoming interview with Dave Seidel.
Here are the results of the 2014/2015 composition competition:
- 1st prize - Löis Lancaster (Brazil)
- 2nd prize - Shaahin Mohajeri (Iran)
- 3rd prize - Chris Tuohey (UK)
- 4th prize - Carlo Tenan (Italy)
Audio is up on the competition page.
Results are trickling in for the 2014/2015 composition competition; we have a clear idea of front-runners, and are entering a tie-breaking deliberation process....stay tuned!
Judging of the 2014/2015 competition is now underway; we expect to have some results by the end of the month of January!
Composers--the 2014 competition submission engine is now up! Please go to the 2014 competition page, peruse the rules, and then register by following the link at the bottom of the page. We want to encourage all composers who are new to the world of microtonal music, microtonality and/or xentonality to peruse the site. A good starting point is the excellent essay by Margo Schulter.
Pithy interview with our new board member, Bruce Hamilton! Check it out!
Make sure to mark your calendars if you are in the Cambridge, MA area on 2014-05-17 so you can attend the 60x60 2012-2013 UnTwelve Mix at Mobius. More info on the events page.
More blogs for you: little surveys of important work in pop/rock/dance genres by Brendan Byrnes; and Jacky Ligon, Sevish, and Tony Dubshot.. Check out the blogs page!
Please, check out some of the newer blogs...(hopefully, we can have some daily content for you)...and sign up to contribute. Today's content: part one in an ongoing series looking at some of the bright points on today's landscape of microtonal pop/rock/dance music.
Also, big news from earlier this week...Aron Kallay, who was on tour last year and was hosted for 3 concerts by UnTwelve in Chicago, Urbana, and Fishers, IN, has just released his studio recording of material from that tour, Beyond 12/Reinventing the Piano. It is a really amazing program and you'll want to listen to and buy this disc.
We are very happy to announce a new feature for our site: community discussion blogs! You can REGISTER for a login account, and then go ahead, share your thoughts with us...what are you obsessing about these days: composition with a certain tuning, theoretical properties, instruments and instrument design, software, electronics for microtonal music-making, you name it...or maybe you just want to announce your damn-cool event or new composition. Go for it!
Hang tight, folks....we will be having blog/discussion pages coming soon. Some of the first blogs will be a discussion of the virtues and ins and outs of 31-edo. Also, please check out the new cd Clocks and Clouds from Kraig Grady and Terumi Narushima.
The broadcast concert at City Winery was a smash success! Thank you for your support. If you are curious, and/or missed the event itself, the audio is archived on the Relevant Tones website HERE. Just click "Listen to the program" and go about 1/3 of the way in.
REMINDER: get your tickets for the appearance of UnTwelve at this year's Thirsty Ear Festival, next Saturday, 7/20 @ 5pm....
The following people's 1-minute tracks have been chosen for the 2012-2013 60x60 UnTwelve mix:
Torsten Anders, George Arkomanis, Kenneth Babb, Christopher Bailey, Mike Battaglia, Oleg Bezborodko, Rich Bitting, Kaja Bjorntvedt, Susan Brewster, Ben Bridges, Paul Burnell, Warren Burt, Brendan Byrnes, Nicholas Cline, Jason Conklin, Maxime Corbeil-Perron, Zach Curley, Jim Dalton, Richard Duckworth, Allen Fogelsanger, Jake Freivald, Soressa Gardner, Kraig Grady, Bruce Hamilton, Pat Hanchet, Todd Harrop, Andrew Hasenpflug, Andrew Heathwaite, Dry Heeves, Aaron Krister Johnson, Charles Jowett, Howard Kenty, Joan La Barbara, Kristof Lauwers, Stan Link, Marco Liy, Nora-Louise Müller, Claudi Meneghin, Herman Miller, Shaahin Mohajeri, Liam Molloy, Quincas Moreira, John Moriarty, John Oliver, Ryan Olivier, Steve Parker, Tina Pearson, Samuel Pellman, Derek Piotr, João Ricardo, Gilberto Rosa, Carlo Serafini, Andrew Smith, Billy Stiltner, Scott Thompson, Christoper Vaisvil, Michael Vick, Robert Voisey, Jane Wang, Julia Werntz.
Thanks to all who submitted; we are very pleased with the results. If you are interested in being a promoter (putting on a concert of this mix in your town at your venue) please contact us using the contact form.
Please join us for a live broadcast concert at City Winery on July 20th @ 5pm-7pm.
The program will include some acoustic guitar music by guest Joel Hickman as well as piano solos and duos performed by Aaron Krister Johnson and Matt Long. The program will be broadcast LIVE on WFMT.
We are very pleased to announce the winners of the 4th annual (2012-2013) UnTwelve International Composition Competition.
1st prize ($500): Jason Yerger (USA) Known Unknowns
2nd prize ($250): Alex Wand and Brendan Byrnes(USA) The plain of jars
3rd prize ($150): Osnat Youssin (Israel) The morning of the birds
With an Honorable Mention (no cash prize): Nicholas Cline (USA), Homage to La Monte Young
The music this year was inspiring, sometimes dazzling. As I mentioned earlier on Facebook, variety, and microtonal music, are alive and well! We wish we could give more money, alas, but we have limits. All the pieces are well worth listening to, so we want to congratulate all the composers who participated. You are the reason for what we do. Please go to the competition page to hear more of the pieces from each competitor as they become available.
UnTwelve also wants to thank wholeheartedly, and again, our volunteer panel of judges: Andy Hasenpflug, Rob Voisey, Neil Haverstick, and Soressa Gardner, for taking the time to listen and consider each work.
On behalf of the of the board and judges, we would like to thank you all for participating, and invite you to do so again next year (winners, sorry, you have to skip a year!)
We expect to be wrapping up the 2012/2013 competition by May 5th or 6th. Hang tight, everybody! -AKJ
Happy 4/20 everybody :D .... the submission engine is officially closed for the competition. We are excited as ever to hear the submitted works, and remember, if you entered a piece, you're already a hero for making the effort. Good luck to all!
The composition competition is still underway. Just to quell any confusion, we are renaming it the 2012-2013 UnTwelve composition competition. It started late in 2012, but it's still happening, and will end in 2013....
COMING SOON! The 4th annual composition competition. Stay tuned for details. The submission engine will be open by Oct. 14th. The competition's history can be viewed at the competition page.
Please join us on Friday, Sept 28th @ 8pm at the Heaven Gallery for an explosive and awe-inspiring evening of new piano works played by the dynamic pianist from Los Angeles, Aron Kallay. Dr. Kallay will be performing works specifically written for him as he tours the US from coast to coast. He has agreed to make several appearances in different cities in the Midwest (Chicago, Indianapolis, and Champaign-Urbana) to benefit UnTwelve under the guise of a fundraiser. The program includes works by Tom Flaherty, Kyle Gann, Jason Heath, Vera Ivanova, Aaron Krister Johnson, Issac Schankler, John Schneider, and Brian Shepard. Please come out for what will be a truly inspiring and exciting evening! The program will be repeated on Saturday, 9/29 @ 2pm at the SoDo Theatre in Champaign, IL, and on Sunday 9/30 @ 2pm at the Fishers Library in Fishers Indiana.
XENHARMONIC CAMP UPDATE This year we will be trying out a shorter, more intensive 8-day format. The dates for Xenharmonic Praxis Summer Camp are now August 3-11, 2012. The full cost is now only $750. If this makes a difference in your situation, it's not too late to register!
Registration is still open for Xenharmonic Praxis Summer Camp 2012! Taking place this August 3-11 in beautiful rural West Virginia, Xenharmonic Praxis Summer Camp is a time and place to retreat and collaborate on alternatively-tuned composition and performance with friends new and old. This summer features guests Aaron Krister Johnson (Chicago), Gayle Young (Canada), and Angelos Quetzalcoatl (Mexico). More info and application on the camp page.
We present you with the winners of the 2011 composition competition...Joel Hickman (USA), Jian Shi (China), & Shaahin Mohajeri (Iran). You can read interviews with them from the 2011 competition page.
Please join us tomorrow at the home of Randall West for a viewing of the documentary film "The Sonic Sky", about music theorist Erv Wilson. Details on the events page...
The results are in from the 2011 (3rd annual) UnTwelve composition competition! Congratulations to all, and especially to our top 3 winners:
1st prize: Joel David Hickman (USA) - like the automatic couplings of railway carriages
2nd prize: Jian Shi (China) - Lady Peony and the Ghost Opera
3rd prize: Shaahin Mohajeri (Iran) - Three Micromusics for an Ant
More results, plus gradual links to audio files, are available at the competition page...
REGISTRATION for the 2011 (3rd annual) UnTwelve composition competition is now open! Please see the main competition page so you can peruse the rules. From there you will be led to an online email registration form, and you email will contain further instructions on how to upload your information and music!
NOTE:THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED
We are having a listening party on Sunday, Oct. 9th, 2pm at the home of Randall West. Please see the events page for more...
We are proud to announce that positions and limited scholarships are still available for the ODDMUSIC-Urbana/Champaign Xenharmonic Praxis summer camp, from July 25-August 5th, co-sponsored by UnTwelve and the School for Designing a Society. The event will be a workshop on 320-acres of pristine mountain beauty in West Virginia, and special guest instructor Toby Twining will be a huge reason to participate. See the dedicated page for more info...
UnTwelve announces phase two of a magical event: the merging of musical and astronomical forces. Join us for the Summer Solstice musical event, which will feature piano music in Centaur tuning, kalimba jams, and participatory vocalisation and celebratory wine-glass ringing!
This event is on June 18th@7pm. Please check out the events page for more details.
UnTwelve will host a microtonal music listening session on Saturday, April 30th @ 8pm (with a 7pm social hour) at the home of new board member Randall West. We will be listening to, studying and discussing Toby Twining's monumental choral masterpiece, Chrysalid Requiem. More info on the events page. The event is free and open to the public, but if you can, kindly RSVP and consider making a small cash donation at the event to cover food costs, etc.
Presentation of the 60x60 UnTwelve mix in video collaboration with Patrick Liddell. Today at 12pm - Lewis University, Romeoville, IL.
May we present the winners of 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize of our 2010 composition competition. From the link page, you can access audio files of the submitted pieces from the contestants, read their program notes, and read interviews with the 3 winners. The finalists for the competition had their works premiered to the public on Jan. 29th.
The 2010 competition stopped accepting submissions today, so judging is officially underway...
There is another presentation TONIGHT at 7pm at the West Gym of Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA, of the 60x60 UnTwelve Mix
We are proud to announce the 2nd annual composition competition. Please see the dedicated page for more details, and for instructions on how to apply
The first full-length udderbot concert will be happening in Urbana, IL on 2010-8-20 @ 8pm. More info here.
Another 60x60 UnTwelve presentation will happen tonight in Kansas City, Missouri. See the events page...
2010-7-5 @ 7pm
Aaron Krister Johnson, founder of UnTwelve, will be presenting a lecture on the history of tuning and tuning systems tomorrow evening. See the events page for more info.
UnTwelve continues its collaboration with 60x60 via the UnTwelve Mix...this time it's a concert in Charlestown, Massachusetts, at the Charlestown Working Theater, Wednesday June 9th @ 8pm. If you are in the area, come out and hear the mix!
We wish to welcome our new intern, Jared Grebner to the UnTwelve team! We are thrilled that he will be able to take on many tasks and administrative duties which will make our organization run like a swiss clock! Learn more about Jared at his UnTwelve page.
Check out the events page....there is an upcoming private concert of electronic music by Aaron Krister Johnson which will take place on January 30th, 8pm.
We are excited to announce a collaboration with 60x60 and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago on April 27th, 2010. Mark your calenders, spectators! Check out the events page!
If you are a composer and would like to contribute, please see this page.
We proudly announce the winners (a tie) of our 1st competition: Andrián Pertout (Australia) and Petr Pařízek (Czech Republic)....stay tuned, in the coming days, we will post information and audio for their works and the finalist/contestant info as well....
The final day of our COMPETITION has arrived! We are excited to review all the entries. Stay posted for updates as judging progresses.....
Besides our composition competition being in process, what UnTwelve really needs now are INTERNS!!! Are you studying arts administration? Perhaps you want to then work for us and get credit for your school? Perhaps you have a passion for all things microtonal and microtonal music and you want to volunteer your time to help our mission? Or maybe you have an area of expertise that you can help us with? PR? Web design? Flash programming? (we'd like to do some cool webapps) Contact us by reading these words: interns AT untwelve DAAHT org
Also, please note that we are still selling our 2009 compilation CD. It is a truly remarkable and enjoyable collection of fine microtonal music, and we hope that you will purchase it to both enjoy the music and support our organization!
Finally, we are thrilled to be a part of the Museum of Contemporary Art concert series: we are a featured guest on Tuesday, April 27th, 2010...mark your calendars! We will be performing and explaining all the different varieties of un-welveness, including just intonation, microtones and microtonal music, temperaments, non-Western scales and tunings, etc.
Guitarist Dante Rosati will perform in Chicago for an UnTwelve concert, June 6th @ 8pm
New York City master guitarist and Julliard faculty member Dante Rosati's guitar compositions are steeped in a thorough absorption of the great Spanish classical guitar tradition, with more than a nod to beauty for beauty's sake and reflective passion and sensuality; yet they are also innovative in terms of extending the possibilities of both technique and tuning. He will perform selections of his guitar works live at the Palette & Chisel, surrounded by the beautiful works in the exhibit Serene la Femme.
Mr. Rosati uses custom refretted guitars to accomodate a pure intonation tunings system, utilizing the ancient knowledge of relationships in the overtone series. The end result is a sound which is both satisfyingly new as it is elegant and sensual. He will also demonstate and answer question about his guitars, the tuning systems used and his compositions. A unique evening not to be missed!
Please see our events page!
$10-You can order tickets to reserve a seat for this event here
Please join us for a private event on Saturday evening.
Details on the events page.
Happy New Year, everybody!
Please join us in on Sunday, Jan 11th, in Champaign-Urbana, IL for an instrument building summit and concert event...please see the EVENTS page HERE for more info.
It's been a while since there has been news posted.
Check out some video footage from the July 31st event here and here.
We are now an official Illinois non-for-profit organization, a significant symbolic milestone has been passed! Plans are underway to start a nice season of activities and concerts, and we have already contacted some high profile artists, who were very enthusiastic about eventually appearing on our series.
We wish to say thanks again to all those who came out to support the cause, and/or those who contributed money in the form of checks or online donations. Your belief in the power of our music and presentation is inspiring. We hope you will continue your support in this, the crucial early stages of bringing the vision to life. This brings us to the next point--dollars. Although our July 31st event was a great success as a concert, it basically left us breaking even as far as fundraising. We need a coherent plan, and that is what we, the board, are scheming.
To eventually bring out-of-town artists into the fold of this series, we have drafted a 3-tiered plan:
1) With a limited budget in mind, we play any shows in the immediate future ourselves with our growing core ensemble of musicians, educating and entertaining our local audiences with our compositions, improvisations and educational musings on the art.
2) Bring in our friendly colleagues who are passionate and sympathetic to our cause who are willing and able to play for us without breaking our bank. We have 1 or 2 such artists in mind for the next year.
3) All the while, we generate momentum and interest and dollars through fundraising, and --- membership!
Regarding the last point, the board of UnTwelve is still in a planning stage working out a fundraising and membership path. What will future events look like? What will membership cost, and what will it offer?
Stay tuned for more details!
There will be a benefit event on July 31st at the new venue in Evanston, IL called SPACE. Tickets will be available for sale by Monday, June 23rd.
MidwestMicrofest is now UnTwelve. The new name reflects our desire to increase the scope of our project beyond any kind of geographical bounds, to make the name reflect broad ideas, including a concert series as well as educational components and web presence, as well as to simply make the name a bit more 'hip' and able to sum up a rather complex topic rather briefly.
We had a preliminary 'proto-board' meeting in March, and are planning the rest of the series, and getting down to the business of making this a working and continually active organization
Listen to an interview with co-founder Aaron Krister Johnson on Chicago Public Radio, October 19th, 2007, between 9am-10am Central Time.
The dimension of pitch in music (how high or low a certain musical sound is) remains largely tied to a standardized set of 12 notes. This is akin to a painter being stuck with only 12 standard colors.
UnTwelve is dedicated to exploring the current and historical frontiers of music beyond the 12-equal note tuning system. Our mission and vision is to commission and perform musical works which display the excitement and beauty of this frontier to both audiences and musicians.
In addition, we seek to set up musical education programs that highlight the wide-open expressive possibilities of such systems, and to promote and foster their usage by the current and next generation of musicians and composers.