Andrián Fabian Pertout - Musica universalis for Harmonic and Polytonal Bells


‘Musica universalis’ or ‘Music of the Spheres’ serves as an exploration of a variety of compositional techniques developed by American composer, pianist and theorist Henry Cowell (1897-1965), and presented in his monumental publication of New Musical Resources (1930), as well as melodic, harmonic and rhythmic transformation based on the theoretical writings of Russian composer, music theorist, and composition teacher Joseph Schillinger (1895-1943) – published posthumously as part of a two-volume work entitled The Schillinger System of Musical Composition (1978). Additionally incorporated in the work are the musical implications of the Rhythmicon in conjunction with compositional techniques derived from Joseph Schillinger’s writings. Thematic material includes two historical Russian melodies recomposed utilizing Schillinger’s concepts of “continuity composed through the time axis”: a spiritual verse (Kniga Golubinaya), and a gospel stichera, or greater chant (Gospel Sticheron by Feodor the Christian, 16th C).

Tuning information:

The thirteen-limit scale formed by the first thirteen partials of the harmonic series (also known as the acoustic scale, or overtone scale, lydian dominant and lydian b7) is adopted as the basic pitch material, while the first sixteen partials of the harmonic series and associated thirteen-limit frequency ratios form the basis for harmonic and rhythmic development: fundamental or unison (the frequency ratio 1/1), just major tone or 9th harmonic (9/8, or 203.910 cents), just major third or 5th and 10th harmonic (5/4, or 386.314 cents), undecimal subfourth or 11th harmonic (11/8, or 551.318 cents), just perfect fifth or 3rd, 6th and 12th harmonic (3/2, or 701.955 cents), tridecimal grave or small neutral, or overtone sixth or 13th harmonic (13/8, or 840.528 cents), septimal subminor seventh or 7th and 14th harmonic (7/4, or 968.826 cents), just diatonic major seventh or 15th harmonic (15/8, or 1088.269 cents), and octave or 2nd, 4th, 8th and 16th harmonic (2/1, or 1200.000 cents).

Composer bio:

In 2007, Andrián Pertout completed a PhD degree at the University of Melbourne on Tweddle Trust, APA and MRS scholarships. Composition awards include the Jean Bogan Prize, Friends & Enemies of New Music Composition Prize (USA), Betty Amsden Award and Louisville Orchestra Prize (USA). He is currently the Australian Delegate of the ACL (Asian Composers’ League), Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne), and between 2009 and 2013 was President of the Melbourne Composers’ League. As well as being a freelance composer, he additionally works as composition lecturer, teacher, supervisor and examiner at the University of Melbourne at Bachelor, Masters and PhD levels. Andrián’s music has been performed in over thirty-five countries by orchestras that include the Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, The Louisville Orchestra (USA), Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (Israel), Orquestra Petrobrás Sinfônica (Brazil), Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra (Vietnam) and Logos Foundation Robot Orchestra (Belgium).