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Prime Ordinals

for solo djembe (with digital delay), prayer bowl, and audio soundscape
Level: Med-Advanced
Duration: 6:00
Release Date: 2009
Product ID : TSPCS-13
Price: $30.00
Item #: TSPCS-13

Formats Available:


Description

Prime Ordinals is a unique solo by Jim Casella for amplified djembe with a prayer bowl and audio soundscape. The piece is formed through an ordered sequence of prime numbers in which the ordinals occur as note groupings, meters, phrasings, or the number of semitones spanned by the portamento in the soundscape accompaniment.

The soloist is called on to create a variety of timbres from the djembe through different striking or muting techniques. The sound from the djembe is also being sent through a digital delay effect at a rate of 333.33 milliseconds. The delay effect plays a critical role in the rhythmic outcome when combined with the sounds originated by the player. The resulting whole represents a unique interplay that is deliberate—even chaotic at times—but always greater than the sum of its parts.

Prime Ordinals comes with a customized software player (compatible with Mac or PC) that serves as an interface for audio inputs, built-in delay effect, soundscape playback and mixing, as well as giving the performer the ability to monitor the soundscape with a click track to ensure a synchronized performance.

This piece comes with a full, bound score and includes a CD-ROM containing the software player in Mac and PC formats, a printable notation key, a reference recording of the full piece, and source audio files for those wishing not to use the software player.

Video performance courtesy of Matt Jordan

Instrumentation

  • Djembe
  • Large Tibetan bowl
  • Personal computer (Mac or PC, with a 4x4 audio interface)

Reviews

“Prime Ordinals” is a solo for amplified djembe, prayer bowl, and digital audio (digital delay and synthesized audio). The score comes packaged with a CD-ROM containing a software player (compatible with Mac or Windows operating systems), allowing the player to adjust the levels and start and stop the audio.  This software eliminates the need for any kind of controllers, effects pedals, other audio software, or a mixing board. The player needs only a laptop or computer to run the software and some kind of audio interface for the amplification/input of the djembe. There are extensive and accessible notes in the score, including full photographic/graphic illustrations, to help navigate the technology.

The music relies heavily on digital delay and rhythms created through the delay process. Using a click track is recommended by the composer in order to achieve proper synchronization with the delay effects. Standard rhythmic notation is used, and detailed performance notes address issues of stickings/sounds. Casella creates an interesting rhythmic and aural sound world by combining the live and digitized environment.

While the music is rhythmically interesting, the real challenge of the work is coordinating with the digital delay (requiring exact rhythmic timing). Technical proficiency on the djembe is probably not the primary concern in a performance, though some facility in making good sounds is necessary. The piece is appropriate for an advanced undergraduate, graduate, or professional recital.

–John Lane
Percussive Notes 
Vol. 48, No. 4, July 2010

Description

Prime Ordinals is a unique solo by Jim Casella for amplified djembe with a prayer bowl and audio soundscape. The piece is formed through an ordered sequence of prime numbers in which the ordinals occur as note groupings, meters, phrasings, or the number of semitones spanned by the portamento in the soundscape accompaniment.

The soloist is called on to create a variety of timbres from the djembe through different striking or muting techniques. The sound from the djembe is also being sent through a digital delay effect at a rate of 333.33 milliseconds. The delay effect plays a critical role in the rhythmic outcome when combined with the sounds originated by the player. The resulting whole represents a unique interplay that is deliberate—even chaotic at times—but always greater than the sum of its parts.

Prime Ordinals comes with a customized software player (compatible with Mac or PC) that serves as an interface for audio inputs, built-in delay effect, soundscape playback and mixing, as well as giving the performer the ability to monitor the soundscape with a click track to ensure a synchronized performance.

This piece comes with a full, bound score and includes a CD-ROM containing the software player in Mac and PC formats, a printable notation key, a reference recording of the full piece, and source audio files for those wishing not to use the software player.

Video performance courtesy of Matt Jordan

Instrumentation

  • Djembe
  • Large Tibetan bowl
  • Personal computer (Mac or PC, with a 4x4 audio interface)

Reviews

“Prime Ordinals” is a solo for amplified djembe, prayer bowl, and digital audio (digital delay and synthesized audio). The score comes packaged with a CD-ROM containing a software player (compatible with Mac or Windows operating systems), allowing the player to adjust the levels and start and stop the audio.  This software eliminates the need for any kind of controllers, effects pedals, other audio software, or a mixing board. The player needs only a laptop or computer to run the software and some kind of audio interface for the amplification/input of the djembe. There are extensive and accessible notes in the score, including full photographic/graphic illustrations, to help navigate the technology.

The music relies heavily on digital delay and rhythms created through the delay process. Using a click track is recommended by the composer in order to achieve proper synchronization with the delay effects. Standard rhythmic notation is used, and detailed performance notes address issues of stickings/sounds. Casella creates an interesting rhythmic and aural sound world by combining the live and digitized environment.

While the music is rhythmically interesting, the real challenge of the work is coordinating with the digital delay (requiring exact rhythmic timing). Technical proficiency on the djembe is probably not the primary concern in a performance, though some facility in making good sounds is necessary. The piece is appropriate for an advanced undergraduate, graduate, or professional recital.

–John Lane
Percussive Notes 
Vol. 48, No. 4, July 2010



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