The Music Research Forum welcomes composer Catherine Lamb. Please register for the event using the link to receive the Zoom joining information.
on purity/impurity (the spiral)
A reflection on a practice of Rational Intonation as a means to expand aesthetic awareness. Considering atmospheric agents, unequal shrutis, opacity and transparency, kinetic shape, and the intermingling of humans, I attempt to open little bridges to the current discourse on Harmonic Space. I will speak through my own compositional practice while at the same time echoing some of the practices that inspire and challenge me. Rational Intonation has the opportunity to be an invigorating inter-connecting force between various aesthetic work (be it cultural or individual). I wish to search for that inner-core space, that elemental theoretical space, in which we can truly discuss the interaction of tone without historical weight pulling it in one direction. Harmonic Space is regarding multi-dimensional listening derived from our own individual perceptions. To practice it, to interpret it, to compose in it, to music in it, we must confront our own limitations. Realities intersecting and sometimes aligning—
A circle draws the distinction between the inner and the outer. I may penetrate into the inner spheres by creating a series of circles of decreasing diameters inside, and I may also penetrate into the outer spheres by creating a series of circles of increasing diameters outside. What began as inner and outer dialectic, withholding of the inner space by the outer and of the outer by the inner space ends in terminations where I cannot any longer penetrate. The contraction condenses into a point of indivisible saturation and the expansion spills into an unthinkable void. The progress is no longer dichotomous.
-Mani Kaul, from Seen From Nowhere