for SATB a cappella
Step right up! See the side-show freaks! The abnormal, exciting, and grotesque are all waiting for you in the Carnival! Come inside and be awed by the plethora of metric modulations, be filled with reverence by the rhythmic complexities, be stuck with wonder by the vocal techniques, and, of course, be perturbed by the absurdity, for you are about to witness an experiment; a comic venture into the multi-level presentation of a satirical, derisive composition where the common attractions are ridiculed and belittled. Enjoy the Carnival show!
Carnival is a composition for mixed chorus a capella that takes advantage of Elliott Carter’s famous techniques of metric modulation. The work can be divided into two halves, each employing an identical series of tempo modulations although the second half is more complex and embellished. The notational aspect of the piece is adapted from Pauline Oliveros’Sound Patterns, especially the use of a two line staff system that allows a spectrum of definite pitches to occur between the bottom line and upper line representing, respectively, the lowest and highest pitch in a performer’s range. Carnivalcombines Carter’s and Oliveros’ compositional and notational techniques and mixes in notated visual gestures and some improvisational elements. The entire composition revolves around the titular theme of the carnival or traveling side-show.