Escaleren
Written for Christian Schmitt

for Natural Horn and harmonium reeds

A Microtonal piece, specially written for Christian Schmitt. Written for Natural horn and harmonium reeds.
Christian changes crooks on the horn for each next note to get the exact microtonal frequency.
The microtonal frequencies are based on the resonant frequencies of a staircase.
I found an amazing huge empty former bank building, it had a 6 levels high concrete staircase. I noticed when I closed the door on one of the levels, it created the most amazing sound. I analysed this sound and structured it in a piece for Christian. Together, we did a small research in how to get those resonant frequencies of the building on the horn. The natural horn uses crooks, it changes the lenght of the tube so I thought that with the correct combination of crooks we could get any pitch. It needed some time but all pitches were found.
The piece became 2 hours and the most hilarious aspect about that is that you won't hear very much pitch changes.
The piece became 2 hours because of the changings of crooks, for this reason I also added a harmonium reeds choir. 20 people had each 3 harmonium reeds to blow on, they also played from a score which clarified the structure of the piece.

I hope to once repeat this piece but with 4 Natural Horn players so that the time which is needed to change crook can be taken over by next in row.

You can see a video of the performance here:
Sadly, the piece was so long that the video camera and the audio recording stopped before the ending of the piece.