An Infinite Circle is a Straight Line Duet for violin and piano Ian Percy (2014)

Percy, Ian An Infinite Circle is a Straight Line Duet for violin and piano Ian Percy (2014). [Composition] (Unpublished)

Text (Original Music Score)
Infinite Circle A4 Score Preface & Parts DrIPercy.pdf

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This very short duet for violin and piano emerged from a theoretical study into the linear qualities and musical possibilities of composing with Pi (3.14159...).

Pi is infinite and linear, but is part of the equation used to calculate the circumference of a circle (cyclic and self-contained). The composer was attracted by this contradiction. Stumbling across a quotation accredited to Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) stating that 'an infinite circle is a straight line' seemed to enhance the contradiction within the compositional premise. The oxymoronic hint of 'philosophical mathematics' contained within the quote was all the additional inspiration needed. This quotation has since been adopted as the concept for a series of compositions.

As a guiding template for the musical characters interacting within this duet, a single line of narrative was conceived from the Kepler quote. This scenario is used as a performance indication at the start of the score: "A curved horizon: the sun sets on another summer."

The material used in this short piece all references Pi in some way (rhythm, proportion, chord, interval, repetition), and circular symmetry is represented through vertical and linear pitch-palindromes (inverted and transposed to reduce direct recognition). Inverted mirror symmetry (reminiscent of Da Vinci’s use of mirror-writing) is used extensively within the short score.

This duet is part of a planned series of works exploring the musical possibilities of the infinite integer of Pi. The composer has initial sketches for 6 unaccompanied bass and baritone voices and plans to set Pi as a linear chant within cyclic pitch and rhythm patterns: The maximum triangle is an infinite line.

Item Type: Composition
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Music (up to 30th April 2018)
Depositing User: Ian Percy
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2017 15:32
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2017 15:32

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