Intro: Bright Star I and II—for solo trumpet (in c)

clip of bright star I - intro

(fragment from page one of the score of movement I: outward bound)

clip of bright star II - intro

(fragment from page one of the score of movement II: flare)

| go to epigram poem for Bright Star |
| listen to a performance models of bright star: movement I | movement II | [REQUIRES QuickTime]

| NEW: DOWNLOAD MP3 of a performance model of bright star: movements I & II [1.5 Mb]
| DOWNLOAD PDF of bright star: movements I & II [five 11" x 17" pages (A3) 140 K REQUIRES Acrobat Reader]

| go to score pages of movement I 1 | 2 | movement II 1 | 2 | 3 |

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Outward Bound: Projecting music into acoustic space
the new promise of an ancient instrument . .  .     .        .

 Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—
            John Keats

b-c cycle

Bright Star I: the two voices

straight mute


Normally, when we think of polyphony we think of two or more voices
going on at the same time. With the StarCycle pieces for what are traditionally
considered monophonic instruments, like horn or flute, or in this case,
trumpet, I'm very much interested in a new kind of many-voiced or polyphonic
texture which is more temporal than spatial. That is, the different voices
or qualities of movement are justapositioned in time, one at a time, and
not all at once, as in, for example, a fugue or invention. The effect, however,
is similar. This is evidently because in musical experience, time and space
easily interpenetrate and merge with one another, just as a melody of single
notes modulates into a chord as we push the sustaining pedal down on a

Of course, there is nothing really new in this. What I'm calling temporal
polyphony here is already incipiently present in especially, for example,
the Baroque idea of the contrast between tutti and solo, or forte and piano.
We might sketch this like this:


[Notice that in the Italian, "piano" not only refers to volume, but also
to a wide-open plain. So, in a way, the image of the contrast of mountains
and plains seems a natural one.]

continuity breaks

II: Flare: projecting music
into temporal glissandi . . .

The key musical or rhythmic feature here—the shape of the music's change
is a smooth, continuous 'getting faster' and 'getting slower'. The music does this
in a necessarily very precise way, moving in steps until the tempo or speed of the
basic meter is doubled, then doubled again, and again. Or vice versa: halved and
halved again, and so forth. This is directly analogous to singing or playing a sliding

tone—a so-called glissando—from one pitch to another one an octave higher, and
so on. That's why I call these doublings of tempo octaves. Here's a sketch of the
cycle of relationships. (Mathematicians, among whom I unfortunately do not include
myself, will notice, to use their language here for a moment, a fractal-like iterative
function at the root of this pattern of movement, with self-similar relationships at
differences of scale.
The key remains, however, that it sounds beautiful, much as if
the graceful spirals of ferns had been translated into sound.(see photo/miniature:
metaphor) This phrase—self-similar relationships at a differences of scale—is an
important one to remember, I think. This is because it points to a simple yet powerful
way of looking at or thinking about both structure and movement in the future.):

| To view a sketch of the tempo relationships for Flare,
go to Four octaves of tempo |

| back to Picture/Poems: Central Display | About Cliff Crego |
| go to the Cliff Crego's New Music website, The Circle in the Square: Central Display |

| Other websites by Cliff Crego: ;
Also: The Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke
| Dutch Poetry: r2c |

Created and maintained in Northeast OREGON, USA.
(created III.8.2001; last update IV.9.2011)  
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