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Topic: Pulsar - A Flute Trio

  1. #1

    Pulsar - A Flute Trio

    I've been working on a piece that uses the Harmonic Frequencies of two Pulsars as the basis for the tone sequences. Much like using traditional scales to develope harmonies and melodies, I used these numeric sequences to generate a sries of tones that I used as the melodic and harmonic reference. They are loosely based on the phase shift of a pulsating star as observed from earth based telescopes.

    For those that are into this type of writing, I post the work here.

    MM I

    MM II

    MM III

    It is a unique ensemble to write for. I am looking locally to get a live performance of this work.


    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

  2. #2

    Re: Pulsar - A Flute Trio

    Hey Bill,

    Yes, very different!
    Very creative and unique. So how do you get the Harmonic Frequencies of two Pulsars? I know Ron and David will be very interested in these works from a astronomical sense - as well as musical.

    I hope you do have a live performance!
    Each movement has a different persona; with contrasting dissonance and exploratory construction. Hard for me to speak about your idea. I am not too informed on Pulsars and how their frequencies can translate into music - however, I find the idea brilliant and your outcome successful!

    Very cool!
    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Vancouver, BC

    Re: Pulsar - A Flute Trio

    These are unusual pieces but they have a certain charm.

    The second one is playful and probably the one I like best. The third has a certain aspect of menace to it.

    As contemporary music goes, these have considerable merit, but I expect not everyone's cup of tea.

    Thanks for sharing the results of your interesting concept.


  4. #4

    Re: Pulsar - A Flute Trio


    For the uninitiated, I felt the sound was very
    interesting. Very clear and beautiful-sounding.

    You sure can get a lot of variety out of the pulsars
    depending on how they are used. Also, on the
    combined, individual rhythms they each play. The
    trill is a really good effect.

    MM II seems to be my favorite, if I had to choose.

    Jack Cannon--Toshiba laptop, 2.8 GHz CPU, 1.5 GB RAM, GPO4-JABB3-Auth. STEINWAY-Gofriller CELLO-Stradivari VIOLIN-COMB2-WORLD, FINALE 2009/11, RME Digiface, Cardbus, V-Stack---Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 8, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express.--MacBook Pro 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  5. #5

    Re: Pulsar - A Flute Trio

    interesting experiment and music itself sounds nice to me.
    Jun Yamamoto
    Tokyo, Japan

  6. #6

    Re: Pulsar - A Flute Trio

    Michael - I simply used the numbers following the decimal points of the frequncy of the star's pulsation. Since that frequncy 'pulses' it used three different sets of numbers and assigned pitches to those numbers - I guess this makes it 'serial' music (not twelve tone but in a similar concept.) These tone series became the 'scales' for the development of the piece.

    I am glad you enjoyed the work. It is fascinating to see how numbers can be worked into a piece of music. Afterall, music is simply 'applied math'.

    Herb - I found the second to be my favorite also, maybe because of its lyric quality. The third was to represent the star as seen as pulsating giant in the heavens spewing out it's menacing x-rays.

    Thanks for listening and commenting.

    Jack - Yes, you are right, the piece evolves by the use of imitation and rhythmic sequencing. Motives do come into play and I did use several canonic devices to create new material to keep the pieces spinning along.

    Thanks for listening to a difficult piece.

    Jun - Experiment, maybe, but I too found the result enjoyable to listen to. (Oops, ended a sentence with a preposition. - Oops did it again.)

    There are many ways to derive material for a composition. The tried and true traditional harmonic/melodic system has been over studied and over done (not that I don't use it myself - of course its an available tool also.) The neat experiment would be to take these three movements and use the traditional harmonic/melodic system as the device to derive the music. Maybe I will do that and compare the two.

    Thanks for listening.

    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

  7. #7

    Re: Pulsar - A Flute Trio


    I listened to M I the other day and have finally gotten back to get in the other 2.

    This is all very current. A new magnetar was just observed this past week I beleive and was found to be unbelievably powerful.

    Neutron stars are cool!!

    I love the way the 3rd begins. The bouncing around a little leads very well intop the idea of a pulsar.

    Great work!

    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein


  8. #8

    Re: Pulsar - A Flute Trio

    What a neat way to base a melody! My sources of inspiration tend to be far less celestial.
    You've managed to produce a wide range of textures from that small ensemble. Pretty inventive stuff!


  9. #9

    Re: Pulsar - A Flute Trio

    Ron - Thanks for listening. I am still 'in flux' about the 3rd, I am considering inserting short soliloquys for each flute in the form of brief cadenzas. I am not sure if I want to break up the flow of that movement though. I always like to leave a piece for awhile and them back with fresh ears.

    Owen - thanks. I enjoy writing for small ensembles, it gives players a chance to display the abilities. I will have to send this to several of my flute friends to get there opinions about 'playbility'. I suspect, though, that it is very playable. (Maybe not at the tempos I want, but...)

    Thanks all for the listen.
    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

  10. #10

    Re: Pulsar - A Flute Trio

    An interesting experiment, surely -- and highly listenable
    as well... you've aced another winner, here, William!

    The basis of this is intriguing. Could you perhaps elucidate
    in greater depth how you arrived at the harmonic and
    melodic basis in relation to the source material? I'd be
    most interested to know more of that.

    Regardless of those details, this is plainly a highly
    successful, productive avenue -- and one I hope you'll
    explore further, my friend!

    Perhaps you could expand the conceptual basis into
    larger ensembles, as well?

    My best,

    David Sosnowski

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