The composition continues the composer’s development of a musical language based on the colour of unusual or unaccustomed acoustic sounds. In this case, the predominant use of inharmonic timbres (metal, multiphonics, and a non-octave tuning system) creates the language that for the most part our musical tradition has ignored. A series of five sections, each of which is based on specific sound sources, has the listener “caught” by their interactions. Musical continuity is maintained by the reuse of similar gestures, colours and tuning system. Overall structural integrity is achieved through a palindromic ordering of the sections. For example, the first and fifth sections use the same sound world, and likewise the second and fourth sections use another sound world. The third or middle section contains aspects of both sound groupings.
Andrew Czink: piano
Ken Newby: bassoon and oboe
Ross Curran: baritone saxophone and clarinet
Paul Dolden: electric and acoustic guitars, double bass, cello, cymbals, metal wheel rims, various metal sheets and poles, glass, rocks, coins, gongageng, gongsuwuken, kempeul, slenthem, sanon.
Caught in an Octagon of Unaccustomed Light was realized in 1987-88 at the composer’s studio and premiered on May 9, 1988 on CKLN FM in Toronto. The concert premiere took place on May 15, 1988 at the Bathurst Street Theatre in Toronto, a concert produced by the artist thanks to the CAPAC Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux Composition Competition which paid for a concert in the city of the composer’s choosing. The piece was commissioned by David Olds (for Toronto’s CKLN FM program Transfigured Night) with support from the Ontario Arts Council. Caught in an Octagon of Unaccustomed Light won the Prize of the Luigi Russolo International Competition (Varese, Italy, 1988).
This work was reprocessed, remixed and remastered in the composer’s studio in 2001-02.