Fugitive Objects (2007)


Program Note

Fugitive Objects (2007) was the first microtonal electronic piece I wrote after acquiring the software programs Kontakt and Lil Miss Scale Oven, programs which enabled me to play microtonal music through my laptop. I was a “Master Artist” at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in February, and I needed to write a work to perform at the residency’s closing concert. Music with many more than 12 pitches to the octave can be difficult to play on a conventional keyboard, for if there are 30 pitches within an octave spread across two and a half octaves of keyboard space, one might be able to play intervals no larger than a major third with one hand. For a long time I had been thinking about obviating this difficulty by assigning keys on the MIDI keyboard nonlinearly – that is, put all the notes in a desired chord within reach of one hand, even if this means that contiguous pitches are scattered quasi-randomly around the keyboard. Fugitive Objects was my first experiment in this project. The various musical objects which make up the piece are scattered where they will be easy to reach, not where they would make musical sense. Thus, “fugitive objects.”

About Kyle Gann

Kyle Gann, born 1955 in Dallas, Texas, is a composer and was new-music critic for the Village Voice from 1986 to 2005. Since 1997 he has taught music theory, history,…