Instrumentarium Novum

Re-examining the conditions for music making in our time.

Instrumentarium Novum is the name given to an ongoing series of works that re-examine some of the conditions for music making in our time. Generally there’s a more flexible approach to instrumentation and performance detail than is usual in mainstream contemporary scores. As in Baroque and early Classical music, there is an expectation that music can be enriched by all the instrumental variety and timbral variation the imagination and experience of musicians can muster. To the Baroque musician, instrumentation and performance detail did not necessarily dictate the nature of the music itself: matters such as instrumental doubling, register placement, chord voicings, dynamics and articulation held a more speculative interpretation in the composer’s mind.
As well as extending the options for interpretation, techniques of computer-aided composition are integral to the areas that Instrumentarium Novum explores. Such techniques allow the composer (and ultimately the performer) a more open and dynamic relationship with the fundamental elements of music itself. Works in the series have so far have focused on open-form (Self Portrait), the interaction of timbres (Quatuor des Timbres), the algorithmic processing of a single musical line (Piece d’Orgue) and a mixture of these techniques (Six Concertos). Turn to the next page to see the current contents of the Instrumentarium.




Six Concertos

for self-directed orchestra



Axioms

for saxophone quartet with optional keyboard, bass and percussion



Hexagrams

for piano duo



Danse
Carême

for viola and piano




Self Portrait

for seven musicians



Quatuor des Timbres

 

for an ensemble of mixed timbres

 



 

Piece d’Orguefor organ