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Secret Geometry

By James Primosch

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Chamber Piano, Tape
Composed by James Primosch (1956-). Performance Score. With Standard notation. 18 pages. Duration 15 minutes. Merion Music #140-40067. Published by Merion Music (PR.140400670).

Item Number: PR.140400670

Secret Geometry can be heard as a short piano sonata, with the movements forming a typical fast--slow--fast pattern. The electronic sounds on tape are tightly interworven with the piano, often serving to extend and transform the piano's sound. The goal is to create a hybrid sound world. The phrase secret geometry is used to describe the play of forms in certain paintings, referring to structural patterns that are used to organize the pictorial elements. Since the electronic medium permits a composer to focus on the micro-structure of individual sounds, as well as more customary concerns with patterns of pitch and rhythm, it seemed appropriate to choose a title that emphasizes the careful shaping of every compositional element. But this is not to neglect the spiritual impulse of the work. After all, the obscure motion of the Holy Spirit herself describes a secret geometry, what Thomas Merton called a hidden wholeness. Written for the distinguished pianist Aleck Karis, Secret Geometry was composed with the assistance of a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. The tape was realized in the Presser Electronic Music Studio of the University of Pennsylvania.

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