6 / a lattice of unplanned measurements

Headphones suggested.

Charles Jones (1910-1997), was a composer and violinist. He taught me composition/counterpoint/harmony/orchestration. He was a wonderful teacher, and, to me, a medievalist.

He set William Langland’s Piers Plowman to music. Piers Plowman is a late 14th-century allegorical poem in a sequence of 22 dream-visions that Langland termed ‘passus’ [‘step’ in Latin]. In these visions, the narrator, Will, meets a series of allegorical characters.

Charles had a small study in his home in Manhattan (he lived there with his family in an actual house with a white picket fence in front) that we would often visit after lessons. He had a wonderful library and collection of art and artifacts that he loved to draw connections between.

He had many students over the years and it seems a lot of us felt that Charles had an uncanny ability to maintain a deep memory of our individual works, influences and thoughts – making us each feel our own efforts were dream-visions somehow simultaneously for us as individuals yet authentically conjoined with his.

This music and imagery reminds me of time with Charles.

Music composition and performance: James Rouvelle

Video: Maya+Rouvelle

As the other works in this series (Soundcloud, for videos click on the video of this movement above ), the music is derived from a 10 note scale (a “Dekany”) inspired by the work of Erv Wilson.

The fundamental tone is 432Hz.

5 / a lattice of unplanned measurements

Headphones suggested.

details more apparent on larger screens.

Music composition and performance, Image software: James Rouvelle

Video: Lili Maya

We think of the imagery as dynamic Asterisms (a group of stars that form an observable pattern other than the official 88 constellations). Asterisms may be part of an official constellation. An interesting topic, no?

This music is derived from a 10 note scale inspired by the work of Erv Wilson. The fundamental tone is 432Hz. All audio tracks are here: https://soundcloud.com/user-951080174

4 / a lattice of unplanned measurements

Headphones suggested.

All audio tracks are here: https://soundcloud.com/user-951080174

Music composition and performance, initial image/software: James Rouvelle
Video: Lili Maya

James wrote some software that generates static images from keyboard interaction that he thought worked with the music. Lili worked with the software to generate images that she used/edited as she composed the video.

This music is derived from a 10 note scale inspired by the work of Ervin Wilson.

The fundamental tone is 432 Hz.

3 / a lattice of unplanned measurements

Headphones suggested.

Here’s part 3 of A Lattice of Unplanned Measurements.

The images are animated stereograms.

We’ve moved (are moving…) the full audio tracks to their own Soundcloud channel and will be posting excerpts to IG.

Part 3 is in two movements. The first movement has a coda section that follows the second movement.

  • Mvt II, 1:27
  • Mvt I coda, 3:39

As in earlier parts, the music is based on a 10 note scale from a formulation by Erv Wilson.

The fundamental tone is 432Hz.

Images: Lili Maya and James Rouvelle

Music/Performance: James Rouvelle

2 / a lattice of unplanned measurements

Headphones suggested

The music is based on a 10 note scale derived from a set of 5 natural and prime numbers through a process inspired by Ervin Wilson

The fundamental frequency is 432Hz

Part 2 is in three short movements:

Image: Lili Maya, Composition/Performance: James Rouvelle

Cutout [6×6] w/ Close Scrape for BBC/Tectonics Festival Glasgow

Roads, Description from Festival Website
Drives, Description from Festival Website
Avenues, Description from Festival Website
Junctions, Description from Festival Website
Paths, Description from Festival Website
Carts, Description from Festival Website

These videos were presented on the BBC/Tectonics website between May 8 and June 7, 2021.

From the Festival catalogue: For Tectonics 2021, Close Scrape debuts “Cutout [6×6]”, a modular piece structured as a constellation of six semi-independent movements that can be performed or listened to in any order. Well-suited to the task at hand, Close Scrape snips fragmentary excerpts of live performance and obsolete recordings, isolates them from their original connections, and – in punctuated transmissions – stitches them together with tailor-made sources of obscure origin. The piece is governed by the guiding idea that music can function as a living artifact, intermediating between channelled worlds and audience receptions.

The online incarnation of “Cutout (6×6)”, streamed from May 8 to June 7, 2021 on the BBC/Tectonics website, includes new video art commissioned for the festival by Maya + Rouvelle, a collaboration between Lili Maya and James Rouvelle that began in 2009 in New York.

Music: Close Scrape (Adam Linson, Matt Wright)

Curated by Ilan Volkov (Conductor, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra), and Alasdair Campbell (Creative Producer ACProjects/Alternative Currents)

A conversation about End Words

A conversation with Abraham Burickson, Artistic Director of Odyssey Works, about End Words, a Cinematic 360/Ambisonic production of Christopher Trapani’s work, performed by Ekmeles and featuring poetry by Ciara Shuttleworth, Anis Mojgani, and John Ashbery.

Christopher Trapani, Composer
Jeffrey Gavett, Baritone and Ekmeles Artistic Director
Ciara Shuttleworth, Poet
Lili Maya + James Rouvelle, Visual Artists

End Words is live

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is end-words-tn-1-1024x576.jpg

The Maya + Rouvelle Cinematic 360 production of Christopher Trapani’s End Words, recorded by Ekmeles and re-mastered by Christopher for this production, is now available through Vimeo’s on-demand.

The project’s on-demand page is here.

Our director’s statement is here.

Music : Christopher Trapani
Performers : Ekmeles
Visual Art : Maya + Rouvelle
Poetry : Anis Mojgani, They Raised Violins (movement I)
Ciara Shuttleworth, Sestina (movement II)
John Ashbery, The Painter (movement III)

from Maya+Rouvelle:

Our intention was to create an uncanny world where Trapani’s music, its poetry and our visuals are symbiotic. The passageway to this environment is nature, filtered through the lens of Trapani’s work; spiraling between the familiar and the dream-like.

from Christopher Trapani:

I’ve always been fascinated by the sestina:
this archaic form, thirty-nine lines
that spin out in an intricate spiral.
Six-line stanzas, with six end words
that repeat in a predetermined shape.
Those patterns were begging for music.

So I started looking for poems to set to music,
and bought an anthology of sestinas.
“The Painter” was an old favorite, and the unusual shape
of Anis Mojgani’s poem—the way he streamlines
crisp, hallucinatory images and tender words—
drew me into a propulsive yet nostalgic spiral…

Predictably, things began to spiral
out of control when I started to imagine the music
I’d devise for Ashbery’s words.
“The Painter” turned into a sort of ur-sestina
setting: I started with thirty-six lines
of related natural harmonies, laid out in the shape

of a six-by-six grid. Then I shaped
the harmonic progression as a spiral
traced through that plane, drawing curved lines
that wander though disjointed consonance—music
laid out so that adjacent stanzas of the sestina
share a repeated harmony over repeated end words.

Line numbers are embedded in the words
as durations. Another grid shapes
the map of shifting tempi—so the sestina
has influenced all the piece’s parameters. The spiral’s
hypnotic rigor invades all aspects of the music.
With the singers, I prerecorded many lines,

syllables, and effects, for the electronics—lines
to chop up and retune, and sometimes single words—
to create collages of vocal sounds. The music
for “They raised violins” started to take shape
with “bones,” “string,” “petals”— each node in the spiral

set to a unique texture. And Ciara Shuttleworth’s “Sestina”
was the perfect compact shape: just six one-syllable words
whose meanings shift as the spiral unravels, lines
that fray as the sestina thins to stark, still music.