Beyond Pythagoras is the result of a five-year collaborative project between composers Paulina Sundin and Monty Adkins, exploring a new method for developing harmony in electroacoustic music inspired by the writings and techniques of William A. Sethares. The project emerged from Sundin’s exploration of Sethaers’s writings from the early 90s which formalised the relationship between the notes of a tuning system, the partials of a timbre, and their relationship to sensory consonance. Sethares’s work facilitates the construction of bespoke microtonal scales from an analysis of instrumental sounds whilst retaining a coherent sense of consonance. As author Luca Turin wrote of Sethares’s work, “Physics had built a prison round music, and Sethares set it free.”
The works on display here composed by Adkins, Sundin and Axelsson, and realised over a four-year period, present a dynamic and dramatic exploration of Sethares’s thinking. From the formal rigour of ‘Emergence’, to the intricate harmonic development of ‘Splintered Echoes’, these pieces demonstrate a detailed and colourful sense of sound design allied with a meticulous structural balance – immersive, patient, and timbrally rich, with an intricate interplay between the acoustic an electronic sound sources.
This recording brings together Monty Adkins and Paulina Sundin on live electronics along with two of Sweden’s greatest proponents of new music. Percussionist Jonny Axelsson has performed new and contemporary music from a plethora of composers worldwide, ranging from works for ice percussion in the Arctic to an on-going twenty-year collaboration with composer Kevin Volans. The Stockholm Saxophone Quartet are ceaseless educators and travellers, having commissioned over 500 new works across their career, and whose Stockholm studio serves as an important meeting-point for musicians, composers, artists, choreographers and writers.
1 Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, Monty Adkins & Paulina Sundin - Emergence (2015)
2 Monty Adkins & Paulina Sundin - Spectral Shards (2017)
3 Monty Adkins, Paulina Sundin & Jonny Axelsson - Splintered Echoes (2014)
4 Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, Monty Adkins & Paulina Sundin - Rondures (2017)
Artists: Monty Adkins electronics | Paulina Sundin electronics | Jonny Axelsson percussion | Stockholm Saxophone Quartet
Cat # HCR18CD
Emergence (2015) and Rondures (2017) was recorded in November 2017 in Tulegaten 53, Stockholm.
Recording engineer: Jamie Fawcus
Spectral Shards (2017) was recorded in November 2017 in the private studio of Paulina Sundin, Stockholm.
Recording engineer: Paulina Sundin
Splintered Echoes (2014) was recorded in March 2015 at the University of Huddersfield.
Recording engineer: Monty Adkins