World premiere performance by Thumb.
Conducted by Dan Watson.
Birmingham Conservatoire Recital Hall. Dec 3rd 2012.
Flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, Mantar (31-et chimes), percussion, 31-et electric guitar, 31-et altered digital piano, piano, soprano, violin, viola, double bass. Duration: 20:00
Stuart Stevens receives an Eliza Avins Music Scholarship from the John Avins Trust and is grateful for the Trust’s support
Part 1. (3 mins)
Part 2. (7 mins)
Part 3 – play within a play. (3 mins)
Part 4. (7 mins)
A note about the instruments
This work features three instruments in 31-tone equal temperament (a microtonal tuning system), which were created by Stuart Stevens and associates.
The Layke guitar is a standard scale semi-acoustic guitar re-fretted with 31 frets in the first octave. It was conceived by Stuart Stevens, and created by Jerry Crosson at The Fret Workshop, Felixstowe, Suffolk.
Mantar is a subset of a much larger chimes installation instrument (called thirty-one), originally commissioned by Aldeburgh Music in 2010. Much of the original installation was recycled into a playground instrument for Ormiston Children’s Centre in Ipswich: what remains is being used to further refine the chime design. Created by Stuart Stevens and Gordon Soames.
The keyboard is being dynamically re-tuned by microtonal synthesiser software, enabling a working simulation of three real instruments, two of which exist today: Nicola Vicentino’s 1555 Archicembalo, which was a 31-tone per octave harpsichord; the Huygens-Fokker Institute for Contemporary Microtonality’s 31-et Fokker Organ; and pianist Geoff Smith’s remarkable Fluid Piano, a microtonal-capable acoustic piano that can be re-tuned by the player during performance.