The Genealogy of Transfigured Wind
Below is a compilation dealing with the initial instrumental and computer-mediated explorations that served to ignite the composer's imagination sufficiently to keep the whole enterprise (the creation of the Transfigured Wind series) in motion for more than a year. Most of the resources were newly created, but an earlier flute solo, the 1965 Ambages, written for Karen Reynolds, was also an important compositional resource.
Key: page images | audio recording
- Figure 1 - TW form as a series of "proposals" and responses. [Notebook]
- Figure 2 - The source of the proportional design of Solos and ensemble responses; "GEN curve" refers to an element in the sound synthesis environment cmusic. [Notebook]
- Figure 3 - Detailed formal subdivision of Solos according to the same GEN function. Note the relationship of these number series (0.84, 1.39, …; 1.39, 2.93, …) to the later formal diagrams (figures 31 & 32). [Notebook]
- Figure 4 - Notes on the nature of four "Proposals." [Notebook]
- Figure 5 - Criteria for the large formal design. [Notebook]
TW Solos I - IV
- Figure 6 - Mapping sonic potential: consideration of flute sound source ideals.
- Figure 7 - Defining sound source categories for the first recording session with Harvey Sollberger . (May 1983)
- Figure 8 - A log of sound source categories that formed the basis of exploration during the second recording session with Harvey Sollberger . (15 May 1983)
- Figure 9 (10) - Harvey Sollberger wrote out his approach to realizing the goals for the second recording session.
- Figure 11 (12) - Notes made for editing the recording sessions: identity, chosen take, duration.
Audio (Preliminary Sound Recordings by Harvey Sollberger, Spring 1983, at UCSD)
- 1 - Note the transformation of spectral identity from a normal to a more edgy, "hard", even metallic, tone. (0:12.5)
- 2 - Here the tone emphasizes, as it evolves, a "breathy" quality arising from the air flow that excites the basic sound. (0:15.5)
- 3 - A gradual inflection up and down in pitch of a sustained tone. (0:17.5)
- 4 - An exploration, from differing fundamental tones, of the related families of "whistle tones". (0:24)
5 - The more limited exploration of whistle tones eventually used in the Transfigured Wind Solo I
- 6 - Two very sharply accented breath bursts. (0:09)
- 7 - Two more breath accents, now with a brighter, more "shriek-like", spectrum. (0:03)
- 8 - Four intense breath accents on a rising series of fundamental pitches. The beginning of Solo I and the entirety of the Ensemble response in Transfigured Wind III is founded on this category of sound. (0:03)
- 9 - Maintaining one fundamental pitch, successive partial components are emphasized. (0:28)
- 10 - "MS" A pure tone gradually acquires multiple pitch components; it becomes a "multi-phonic."(0:20.5)
- 11 - A "unison trill" involves alternative fingerings that result in slightly different sound versions of a particular pitch category in rapid, trill-like succession. (0:12)
- 12 - A "multi-phonic trill" is a parallel, rapid alternation of more complex component sounds. (0:11)
- 13 - To a multi-phonic trill, the flutist can add "flutter-tongue" (rapid amplitude modulation) by trilling the tongue itself as in a rolled Spanish "r". (0:15)
- 14 - From the second Harvey Sollberger recording session: an "AP" take, involving a multiple trill with irregular content. (0:19.5)
- 15 - "AM" explores an alternation of multiphonic trill content. (0:15)
- 16 - A more fluid example of intricate multi-pitch succession. (0:07)
- 17 - A parallel example based not on singular pitches, but multi-phonic components. (0:09)
- 18 - "AMH" Now a basic multi-phonic trill is joined by simultaneous vocalization, rising in a continuous pitch glissando. (0:09)
- 19 - Another try at the previous goal with a different, more rapid multi-phonic trill. (0:21.5)
- 20 - "AMH", take 2 and 3. Need for a correction noted, then a second attempt. (0:23)
- 21 - First two phrases of Debussy's solo flute classic, Syrinx . (0:12.5)
Proposed Structure for Solos
- Figure 13 (14) - A graphic representation of the form of the Transfigured Wind Solos, with proportions (in seconds) and indication of where quotations from the earlier flute work, Ambages, are to fit.
- Figure 15 (16-19) - Ambages score, boxed excerpts were considered for use in Transfirgured Wind Solo. Roman numerals I-IV adjoining the boxed phrase indications indicate Transfigured Wind Solo destination.
Ambages recording by Karen Reynolds. (8:35.5)
In 1964, Karen attended a Marcel Moyse master class in Boswil, Switzerland. She proposed that I work on composing a brief flute solo while she was involved in the daily seminars. Working in the basement of the church, I produced Ambages, which was longer (8.5 minutes) and more technically challenging than she had wished. She performed it at the Villa Serbelloni, and then also recorded it in a multi-storied bath of the Torre Sfondrata, Bellagio, Italy, where we were living then.
- Figure 20 (21-30) - Complete sketch of the four Transfigured Wind soloscomposed during the Summer and early Fall of 1983.
Audio (Transfigured Wind Solo recordings by Harvey Sollberger , Fall 1983, at UCSD)
- 23 - Harvey Sollberger's first attempt at recording the Solo I for Transfigured Wind . (1:24)
- 24 - Solo II , first version. (1:51)
- 25 - The latter portion of Solo II as played by Harvey Sollberger after discussion and further practice. (1:20)
- 26 - Transfigured Wind Solo III in its initial recording. (3:07)
- 27 - A refined version of the last portion of Solo III . (0:43)
- 28 - The Solo IV, initial version. (4:22)
- 29 - Again, a process of refinement, concentrating on combining a normally blown tone with simultaneous humming. (1:38) Comment by Harvey Sollberger.