for retuned piano
premiered June 23. 2012
Aron Kallay, piano
Beyond Baroque, Venice, CA
Recording with Aron playing available on Microfest Records
MIDI recording. Though performance is computer-generated and stiff, the sounds are identical to those heard in live performance. (Pianoteq tunable software.)
Barstow Bagatelle makes use of the tuning system devised by Harry Partch and used in the guitar part of his "Barstow." The 19 notes per octave is a non-symmetrical subset of his 43-tone scale. Some adjacent notes are just about a "half-step" apart, in 12-tone equal tempered tuning. In other parts of the scale it may take 4 adjacent notes to span the same interval. The harmonic possibilities range from stunningly pure consonance to excruciating dissonance, and Barstow Bagatelle uses most of that range.