About this project
Hi! We're the Living Earth Show, and thanks for checking out our Kickstarter page.We play chamber music composed for guitar, percussion, and electronics written for us by some of the most interesting and exciting composers in the United States. We are raising funds for the construction of a quartertone vibraphone and a quartertone guitar. This request requires the answers to several very important questions.
What are quartertones??
Most western harmony is derived from tonality of a standard 12-note-to-an-octave scale. A piano keyboard, for example, has exactly 12 keys to an octave (C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C). The chords built with these tones make up the foundation of the harmony used in most pop music and western classical music. However, there could conceivably be an infinite number of keys between C and C on a keyboard. The quartertone system is one system that works to expand the traditional western conception of tonality, dividing the octave into 24 equal steps. This system allows the musicians to sound the notes in between the notes of the standard scale.
We play music because we want to change the way people hear the world around them. We work to achieve this mission by allowing people to experience, interact with, and think about sound in new ways and contexts. The quartertone system, in many ways, epitomizes our mission. Western music, from Bach to Beethoven and from Lady Gaga to The Coldplays, is built on dodecaphony - music composed with the standard 12 note chromatic scale. Quartertones by themselves are somewhat unsettling and unfamiliar - they allow for the creation of a foreign and disquieting type of dissonance. Scales and chords don’t resolve quite where they are expected to, and they offer untold possibilities for tonal expansion. There is a tiny but rapidly expanding body of repertoire for quartertone instruments, the most immediately notable being Brian Ferneyhough’s Renvoi/Shards, composed in 2008 for the Norwegian group asamisimasa (the only other quartertone vibraphone in the world exists in Norway). We will be performing that landmark work, as well as newly commissioned pieces by Luciano Chessa and many others, over the course of the next year.
What's in it for you?
In addition to the incentives, we will send new music to every person who donates anything at all on a regular basis. Every week or so, we will give our backers a link to download new, never-before-heard music by composers including Max Stoffregen, Timo Andres and Damon Waitkus, as well as pieces from our album that won't be available anywhere else for several months.
By almost any standard, we play weird music. We seek out music that otherwise wouldn't get played or heard, the things we find most interesting, and do our best to share them and share why we like them with as many people as possible. We feel that it is important that this music exists and that there is someone who is willing to play it. We believe in weird music. Regardless of whether or not this kickstarter project is successful, we will do everything in our power to help better hear the world around them.
Thanks for letting us share our love for this stuff with you.
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