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Nine Figures on a Hill

Full choral layout from Parent 1 (bars 19-21)
Performance Specifications

Nine Figures on a Hill is imagined either for a chamber choir of around 30 voices or for eight solo singers using microphones and sound projection. It is both a choir and a theatrical chorus in the Greek tradition. The text offers many opportunities for dramatic rendering and presentation, vocally and gesturally.

The specification for Double Choir here requires two vocal ensembles of equal size: a central SATB ensemble with 'outriders'. The positioning of the voices, emphasized in the way the score is laid out, is arranged like this: Soprano II Alto II Soprano I Alto I Tenor I Bass I Tenor II Bass II. This grouping of singers is used to enable particular spatial effects, textual and musical emphasis.

The Songs are in three sections each associated with a pedal tone:

Ultimate Form, Ancestor 2, Ancestor 1 - A
Parent 1, Parent 2, Youth, Young Girl - C#
Bride and Bridegroom - F

This pedal tone may be used freely and imaginatively to centre the tuning of the singers as and when necessary. Further support may be gained from reference to patterns 658-663 from Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Musical Patterns from which the tonalities for the whole composition are drawn.

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Nigel Morgan, Prudential Buildings, 55 Westgate, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 1BW, United Kingdom Tel: 01924 383017 e-mail: tonalitysystems@mac.com

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