Kyle Gann: Cyclic Aphorisms

The most frequent idea in my music is a recurring cycle inflected by some process of change or phase-relationship, as a metaphor for eternity. Cyclic Aphorisms for violin and piano (1987-8) is a set of studies based on this idea. No. 1 is a texture made up of notes recurring at different durations; the second half repeats the first with different harmonies, the melodies in the violin having the same rhythm. (I carried this idea to a greater extreme in the piano piece Windows on Infinity). No. 2 runs through a cyclic series of arpeggiated harmonies based on a counterpoint of simple pitch loops. No. 3 is a three-part spiral canon, an idea I developed at much greater length and depth in Chicago Spiral. The idea was suggested to me by Bernhard Ziehn's book Canonic Studies, a 1912 study of canonic technique. The aphorism idea itself came from reading Nietzsche.

Score (PDF)MP3

- Kyle Gann

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