Jeff Morris - Etude NO. 3 for Horn


Once, I discovered the continuum of possible pitches and ran in search of “the best” way to organize them. I eventually abandoned the search, realizing other aspects of music are more impactful and fascinating (although trickier to theorize). Now, I always seek what music comes most natively from the instrument or performance situation at hand, whether interactive site-specific installations or acoustic solos. This piece comes from before I abandoned pitch, and only now do I realize it’s also the beginning of my work in native composition. The instrument itself led me to this approach of using natural harmonics in conjunction with the slide, because they are both there.

Tuning information:

Sorry if this doesn't fit SCALA's structure very well. Most briefly, this work uses all the horn's valves as well as any of their natural harmonics, focusing on the natural resonances of the instrument rather than any values in Hertz. Simplistically, you could call it a network of 11-limit Just Intotation scales branching off from each 12TET pitch class, but we know brass instruments aren't *really* 12TET, don't we? Here, the goal is simply to use the instrument for all it can be, not what any inventor, manufacturer, or publisher had in mind for it to do.

Composer bio:

Jeff Morris creates experiences that engage audiences’ minds with their surroundings. His compositions, performances, installations, and curated projects have appeared in the Onassis Cultural Center, Triennale Museum (Milan), the International Symposium on Electronic Art (Vancouver, Canada), the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum (Austin), the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s “Open House Chicago,” and the Boston Microtonal Society. He has won awards the Concours de Bourges (France), Viseu Rural (Portugal), “Music in Architecture” International Competition (Austin), the Un“Cage”d Toy Piano Competition (NYC), and the “Radio Killed the Video Star” Competition (NYC). Writings about his works and their aesthetics have been presented at the International Computer Music Conference, Generative Art International Conference, and Computer Art Congress.