3 Preludes presented at the Premiere in Rome
At the Premiere of the Heaven's Carousel at the Academia dei Lincei three Preludes demonstrated the spectrum of conceptual and compositorial possibilties. All three Preludes presented compositions transcending typical occidental harmonics. Here the dialogue with the Nobel Laureate in physics Adam Riess (STScI) was a big inspiriation for Tim Otto Roth developing the composition.
The first Prelude starts with the standard pitch A at 440 Hz played by one loudspeaker. Step by step further pitches are added on the other loudspeakers. The intervals are always octaves speaking the frequencies are doubled or bisected. Octaves are a very common interval appearing in various music cultures.
The second Prelude uses specific spectral lines relevant in astronomy and translates the correspondent ratios in intervals of sine tones. The Prelude 2 starts with an interval expressing the ratio of specific emissions of calcium and silicon which were of relevance to specify a certain type of star explosion - Supernova type 1a . It was finally the observation of this type of Supernova which helped to discover the accelerated expansion of the universe. Further spectral lines of elements are introduced in the second Prelude. Especially the various series of Hydrogen lines - the Paschen, Balmer and Lyman series - show a characteristic of this 'elementary harmonics': As the frequencies are related by a square function the ratios between the tones become smaller and smaller resulting in a microtonal compression. A similar microtonal concentration around some basic tones can be found in the Indian Shruti harmonics. This is why the second Preludes fades at the end slowly from a spectral microtonal scale to the Shruti scale.
excerpts from Prélude 3 (ca. 3:55 min.)
The third Prelude is also based on a microtonal scale using ninth tones intervals. In this movement the activity and the pitch of the ninth tone is chosen by a random generator. The carousel start with pulses changing relatively fast according to the random scenario. The pulses even accelerate up to a rate of 50 pulses per second and then slow down to an extended metrum with only five pattern changes per minute. Step by step the frequency spectrum is narrowed. The last part of the third Prelude starts with a band of very high pitches up to the ultra sound - an analogy to the high energetic light in the beginning of the universe. Continuously this blue sound universe 'cools down' and the frequency band is lowered. Finally the universe dies in red tones at very deep frequencies which create quite a physical touching field of interferences.