b. Feb. 6, 1994 —
fl. Jan 23, 2018 —
2013 - initial studies with Martin Rokeach for three months; drops out of academic study after reading Genesis of a Music and refusing to study tonal theory
2013 — 2016 - independent study of modal structures
2016 — 2018 - on the recommendation of Martin Rokeach, private study of counterpoint and modality with Frank La Rocca
2018 - discusses aesthetics, notation, and performance practice with Antoine Beuger; performance of rescinded study piece in Haan
2018 - 2019 - private study of composition with Frank La Rocca; finalization six years of observations into Prolegomena to Tetrachordal Structure
2020 - refutation of the observations of the Prolegomena in Eleatic Conceptions of Musical Experience
Initial studies with Martin Rokeach; countpoint with Frank La Rocca; aesthetics, notation, and performance practice with Antoine Beuger.
Speculative theorist of post-Partch structural theory and post-Tenney perceptual theory.
A composer of radical Catholicity in the truest sense, in both conception and in execution, as well as one akin to Harry Partch in stressing a corporeal music drawn from the ancient world without pastiche, syncretic new age ideas, or direct copy, achieved through an emphasis on an ancient attitude, not an ancient sound.
This attempt at radical Catholicity is not through ecumenical dialogue or syncretic admixture of liturgical traits, but through the act of identifying the true vine among its scattered tendrils; to not appropriate another liturgical tradition in its neumes, signs, and melodic content, but to seek in it what is in one's own tradition; that is, the necessity of those who practice liturgical chant to live not within the music, but within the Word, and understand how the Word informs the music. Thus, as a composer, he is one not of the classical tradition, but of the tradition of the early Church; yet, one without concessions to the styles associated, and expected of, sacred music. Instead, a music fully dependent on line, emphasizing its ability to retain its identity, despite perceptions of change, knowing that its key traits are contour and shade; moreover, one identifying that there is only one sound with many qualities, removing the need for delineations of pitches into hierarchies of value, and embracing a universal musical language in which the notation on the page is only determined in the moment it appears, according to how the interpreter defines it. Pitches become positions: Ut is whatever Ut may be, and Re is defined in relation to Ut, whatever that may be.
From this unique conception of musical experience emerges the attempt at development of liturgical chant through a highly personal, indeterminate form, distilled to allow for an untrained voice to perform, the primary impetus being a sacred music for the secular, predicated by the successful rise of 20th century gagaku as court music for the public, as to prove that the traditional liturgical genres have potential as powerfully expressive, humanistic forms in our future, as opposed to being relegated to historical documents for musicologists alone.
Copyright © Sean Tartaglia 2019