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Haakon Stene (*1977 ), percussionist in Twine percussion duo together with Kjell Tore and percussionist in the chamber ensemble Asamisimasa, with whom he has commissioned works including microtonal instruments.Håkon has frequently used the quartertone-vibraphone. The instrument is tuned by Vancore in Holland and made after hearing Kjell Tore Innerviks prototype on a concert in 2003. Asamisimasa consists of  Haakon Stene (percussion), Rolf Borch (Clarinets),  Heloisa "Foxy" Amaral Stene (Piano), Anders Førisdal (Guitars) and  Janne Berglund  (voice). The ensemble has commissioned several pieces including quartertones in all instruments. Haakon has made some comments about the works they are playing in the ensemble.

 


Michael Finnissy: L'Herbe: 2004. Clarinet, guitar, nude and quartertone-vibraphone.

The three instrumental parts of L'Herbe are to be played non-synch.The guitar plays continously whereas vibes and clarinet comments with individual material every 30 or 60 seconds.The sustained, lyrical dialog between the tonal material in the guitar and the microtonal clouds in the vibes alongside sustained notes in the clarinet is maintained ppp throughout the whole piece. I first performed this piece with extremely soft mallets, only indicating a microtonal shadow behind the guitar. After having worked with the composer for the London premiere, he requested a set of hard and rather bright mallets to match the plucked strings in a sort of balanced dialogue.L'Herbe was performed at Ultima, Oslo (2004), Cutting Edge in London(2004) and GAS Festival in Gothenburg (2005).


Sven Lyder Kahrs: Sparrows. 2004. Clarinet, guitar, quartertone-vibraphone and soprano.

Sven Lyder Kahrs notates quartertone-vibraphone in two systems. The upper staff is the vibraphone tuned a quartertone flat.

 

I challenged the composer to try out some chordal writing with six mallets, and I soon discovered the many limitations of movement in the voicing of the chords he wrote. Mixing three rows of bars in one hand, proved to be almost impossible over a given tempo.The challenges of applying this technique is also a well known issue in standard keyboard writing. It is really necessary that the composer understands the physical challenges of this technique before applying it.

 


Chris Dench: Blood music, 2005. Bb Clarinet, 7strings, electric-guitar and quartertone-vibraphone.

Dench's piece involves pretty complex linear writing. Although I only sent him a few photos and sketches of the instrument, he really managed to write a part that was really idiomatic.


Risto Holopainen; Palintropos harmonie, 2005.
Soprano, Clarinett in Bb, toy piano, quartertone electric-guitar, piano and quartertone-vibraphone.

 

Risto Holopainen notates in one system using separate symbols for the quartertones.

The parts in this piece are individual organisms that increase and decrease in density at a different pace.The material is computer generated and I didn't get to test any of the passages before receiving the finished score. Some proved to be quite challenging in terms of clarity, pedaling and mixing of the two keyboards.


Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf: 2006. Electris guitar, piano and quartertone-vibraphone. Planed for 2007. "

 


© Kjell Tore Innervik, 2008.