Newport Beach in the 70s was written in memory of Janet Smith, lifelong friend of my cousin, Margaret Pryor. The two would go swimming late at night in the Pacific, which was just a short walk away from their home in Newport Beach, California. The music is meant as an evocation of these scenes; "in the 70s" refers to the air and water temperature as well as the decade.
Newport Beach in the 70s places equal-tempered tonal harmony underwater. This effect was used to support the setting of the piece - warm evenings on the Pacific in Southern California. Tonal chords are raised or lowered by eighth tones and quarter tones, which alters our perception of the preceding chord, much like the refraction of an object underwater. The beatings that result during these shifts in tuning could also be thought of as ripples on the ocean surface.
NoneThe music of the American composer Joseph Michaels (b. 1977 in Oberlin, Ohio, USA) features extended techniques, alternative tuning systems, music theater, and various media, like the playback of prerecorded material and film. Michaels’ works have been performed in North America, South America, Africa, and Europe by such musicians and ensembles as the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, ensemble cross.art, Rohan de Saram, Geoffrey Deibel, Thürmchen Ensemble, Truike van der Poel and Andreas Fischer (Neue Vocalsolisten).