AD.15 Beyond Pythagoras

Beyond Pythagoras is the result of a five-year collaborative project between composers Paulina Sundin and Monty Adkins, exploring a new method for developing harmony in electroacoustic music  inspired by the writings and techniques of William A. Sethares. The project emerged from Sundin’s exploration of Sethares’s writings from the early 90s which formalised the relationship between the notes of a tuning system, the partials of a timbre, and their relationship to sensory consonance. Sethares’s work facilitates the construction of bespoke microtonal scales from an analysis of instrumental sounds whilst retaining a coherent sense of consonance. As author Luca Turin wrote of Sethares’s work, “Physics had built a prison round music, and Sethares set it free.”

The works on display here composed by Adkins, Sundin and Axelsson, and realised over a four-year period, present a dynamic and  dramatic exploration of Sethares’s thinking. From the formal rigour of ‘Emergence’, to the intricate harmonic development of ‘Splintered Echoes’, these pieces demonstrate a detailed and colourful sense of sound design allied with a meticulous structural balance- immersive, patient, and timbrally rich, with an intricate interplay between the acoustic and electronic sound sources.

This recording brings together Monty Adkins and Paulina Sundin on electronics along with two of Sweden’s greatest proponents of new music. Percussionist Jonny Axelsson has performed new and contemporary music from a plethora of composers worldwide, ranging from works for ice percussion in the Arctic  to an on-going twenty-year collaboration with composer Kevin  Volans. The Stockholm Saxophone Quartet are ceaseless educators and travellers, having commissioned over 500  new  works across their career, and whose Stockholm studio serves as an important meeting-point for musicians, composers, artists, choreographers and writers.

  1. Emergence (for Saxophone Quartet and electronics) – Monty Adkins & Paulina Sundin
  2. Spectral Shards (8-channel electronics) – Monty Adkins & Paulina Sundin
  3. Splintered Echoes (for Percussion and electronics) – Monty Adkins, Paulina Sundin & Jonny Axelsson
  4. Rondeurs(for Saxophone Quartet and electronics) – Monty Adkins & Paulina Sundin

Stockholm Saxophone Quartet
Monty Adkins 
Paulina Sundin electronics
Jonny Axelsson percussion

Released on HCR (distributed by NMC)