ĐRƟNEscape is a new live project of composer and musicologist Tomáš Reindl. It is a set of meditative compositions in the style of drone/ambient music, based on precisely calculated interval proportions of just intonation tuning system (see below the video recording of the workshop). ĐRƟNEscape has a specific musical-psychological dramaturgy, determined by the focused use of specific intervals and their combinations, chosen with regard to the results of T. Reindl's research Microintervals in the of just intonation system and their psychological aspects (see below for details of the entire two-year project, which took place between 2021 and 2022). The results of the research are elaborated in the article Psychological aspects of (micro)intervals of the just intonation system, which was published in the 43rd issue of the professional journal Journal Acoustics (see below for download).
The premiere of this audiovisual project took place on 14.10.2022 at the Music Faculty of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (HAMU), see the video above. The concert was also intended as a tribute to the grandfather of minimalism, La Monte Young, who celebrated his 87th birthday that day. The concert also featured his iconic composition The Second Dream of the High Tension Line Stepdown Transformer (Melodic version). The listening experience of the concert was enhanced by an interactive artistic video performance by Iveta Kratochvilova, aka Bionic.
The concert was performed by:
Tomáš Reindl – interactive elektro-acoustical system, trumšajt (medieval tromba marina), overtone vocal, clarinet
Alice Bauerová – tampura, yaili tambur, vocal
Silva Morasten – yaili tambur, tampura, vocal
Martin Debřička – bass clarinet, tenor sax
Luan Gonçalves – double bass
Worksop by T. Reindl na HAMU (2021):
Microintervals in just intonation systems
Details of Tomáš Reindl's research project Microintervals in the of just intonation system and their psychological aspects
Annotation of the project:
The project investigated the psychological aspects of the essential intervals of just intonation systems. These are subtle, precisely calculated micro-interval nuances that possess a distinctive character, an individual sound. These microintervals (shruti) are attributed specific emotions or feelings in ancient Indian music-theoretical texts, just as in the European tradition, various extra-musical qualities have been attributed to individual intervals since antiquity. However, these attributes are often symbolic, and inseparable from contemporary contexts, myths, or religious concepts. The aim of the project is to try to separate the purely psycho-physiological aspects of these intervals and to check whether the respondents agree with them. In contrast to previous research, the stimuli tested here are not musical excerpts but isolated consonances in the form of sustained concords (drones). The project also had educational and artistic ambitions - holding a workshop and creating a special audiovisual composition for live performance. The research was related to the author's Ph.D. thesis, Microtonality in Indian Classical Music, and to research on Ragas and Emotions (see the article of the same name in the journal Musicology), carried out in collaboration with the Research Centre for Musical Acoustics at HAMU.
The project took place at HAMU in 2021-2022 and was funded by a DKR grant.
INDIVIDUAL PHASES OF THE PROJECT:
1. Research and article Psychological aspects of (micro)intervals of the just intonation system
Ing. MgA. Tomáš Reindl, PhD. / RNDr. Marek FRIČ, Ph.D.,Mgr. MgA. Viktor Hruška, Ph.D. et PhD.
In the first part of 2021, the research materials were first collected, followed by the preparation of an online listening test in cooperation with the staff of the Research Centre for Musical Acoustics at HAMU (RNDr. Marek Fiče, Ph.D. and MgA. Viktor Hruška, Ph.D.). The listening test was launched in September 2021 and completed in early November. There was quite a great interest in the test, 93 respondents managed to record their answers. The data were subsequently evaluated in cooperation with colleagues and a scientific study was prepared by the researcher based on the results.
This study presents the results of research on the psychological aspects of exactly calculated just intonation intervals, which was performed in the form of a listening test. These micro-interval nuances (śruti) are attributed specific emotions or feelings in ancient Indian music-theoretical texts, just as in the European tradition, various extra-musical qualities have been attributed to different intervals or modes since Antiquity. The purpose of the research was therefore to try to map the psychological aspects of the selected intervals and to verify whether the respondents agreed on them. In contrast to similar research testing tempered intervals, here we are dealing with precisely tuned concords of characteristic intervals of just intonation systems (5-limit and 7-limit just intonation), realized in the form of sustained drones. The results of this research show that listening to isolated sustained concords can induce a wide range of responses in the listener, which are identical or similar for a significant number of respondents. Moreover, in some cases, the reactions to a given interval/emotion combination coincide or resemble the characteristics given by Indian or European traditions. All the results of the research have been summarized in a table that can serve practical purposes.
The research on the Psychological aspects of (micro)intervals of the just intonation system was oriented not only theoretically, but also with the intention of the practical application of the acquired knowledge, immediately in the following year of the project (concert realization of the ĐRƟNEscape project). The article was published in English in the 43rd issue of the peer-reviewed Journal Acoustics. Moreover, this study has a continuity with the author's previous two articles published in the journal Musicology.
You can download the article here (registration is necessary):
2. Workshop Microintervals in Just Intonation Systems
On December 1, 2021, a workshop Microintervals in Just Intonation Systems was held at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, which was prepared and led by the project researcher Tomáš Reindl, with the help of two assistants - students of the Department of Composition - MgA. Vratislav Zochr and BcA. Haštal Hapka. The workshop was well attended not only by students and teachers of Ham, but also by external participants. An audio-visual recording was made, which was subsequently published on YouTube and social networks, where it achieved a relatively high following.
The seminar on microintervals in just intonation systems was oriented both theoretically and practically. Participants were introduced to the differences between the tempered and the just intonation, as well as the types and possibilities of just intonation (such as 5-limit or 7-limit just intonation). By means of aural training, participants gained practical experience with the subtle nuances of just intonation intervals. Subsequently, they were initiated into the technique of overtone singing, which allowed them to discover the natural intervals in their own voice. The last part of the workshop was dedicated to the software possibilities of the work with microintervals and examples of the possibilities of creating their own tuning systems.
3. Koncert ĐRƟNEscape
The artistic culmination of the research project in 2022 was the realization of a new original concert audiovisual program by T. Reindl called ĐRƟNEscape. It is a series of specially created meditative electroacoustic compositions in the "drone music" style, inspired by the results of the previous research. This music is based on rationally calculated interval ratios and structures, determined by the principles of just intonation (especially the so-called 5-limit, 7-limit and 11-limit just intonation). The work has a specific musical-psychological dramaturgy, given by the targeted use of specific intervals and their combinations. The listening experience was enhanced by an interactive video art performance created for this purpose by the multimedia artist Iveta Kratochvílová (Bionic).
Besides the author, the concert program also featured guests Silva Morasten (tampura, yaili tambour, vocals), Alice Bauerová (tampura, yaili tambour, vocals), Martin Debřička (bass clarinet, saxophone), Luan Gonçalves (double bass).
The concert took place on 14.10.2022 in the Hamu Gallery and was intended as a tribute to the grandfather of minimalism, La Monte Young, who celebrated his 87th birthday that day. The concert also included his iconic composition The Second Dream of the High Tension Line Stepdown Transformer (Melodic version).
For a deeper experience, the audience was allowed to lie (or sit) on mattresses brought in for the concert. The ĐRƟNEscape concert was professionally filmed and then post-produced by FAMU students (Olga Srstková and others) and posted on YouTube. https://youtu.be/7ymhUuD9Ht0