Tshikona Portrait (2018)
for Huygens-Fokker 31-tone organ
Dedicated to Christina Viola Oorebeek
Duration: c. 9 minutes

First performance: Sunday 13 May 2018, 11h00; Stichting Huygens-Fokker, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Piet Heinkade 5, NL-1019 BR Amsterdam, Stichting Huygens-Fokker, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam; Michael Blake Fokker organ controlled by MIDI.

Programme note
The Venda reedpipe dance (from Limpopo, the most northerly province of South Africa), can involve over 100 players each blowing a single reed pipe. With dancing and drumming, a performance may last anything up to an hour or longer. My piece is a portrait of the Venda reedpipe dance, translated through the model of the French organ symphony – a short, one-movement symphony in this case, and simulated using a hypothetical African-tuned heptatonic scale, made possible by the microtonal Huygens-Fokker organ. There is also reference to mechanical fairground organs, and the drums are simulated by microtonal clusters for the pedals, a notion borrowed from Charles Ives. At the suggestion of Ere Lievonen, I subsequently reconfigured the piece with a part for the organ keyboard plus MIDI.

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