“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Friday, May 13, 2011

Atonal House

Subject 13, Mystical Flyte

A good trick for writing dance music is bitonality: make the tune be in two keys at once, or even three, as in the mid-section of this one. The bass line and the main clavichord hook are so spaced apart melodically it's almost disturbing. Rocking. This is almost atonal. Listen to the high pedal points and the flute and trumpet lines: they have nothing to do with each other melodically. Yet they work. Your ears try to encompass each key—pretty effortless mind expansion occurs. Disturbingly between demonic, sexy, weird, and peaceful. Speculative listening. Full on drums too, in double time with the bass—another nice touch, two different speeds moving relative to one another.


ai said...

Yes, but what do we call it. It's more than bitonal, but less (or much more) than atonal. Polytonal, definitely, but perhaps something else: heterotonal? free tonality? tonal promiscuity? tonally noncommittal? tonal shiftiness? Cool...

Timothy Morton said...

Hey good point Adrian. I shall chew this over.