Together Apart/Apart Together for Saxophone, Accordion and Double Bass was composed by Karsten Fundal in 2004. Written for and commissioned by Poing.
Programme note: This piece is the 3rd in a row of pieces, which concentrates on a rhythmical relationship that continues to puzzle me. It is actually two relationships embedded. The 1st is a pattern that is very inspired by the composer Per Nørgård, who in the beginning of the 90ies got very preoccupied with the idea that you can have rhythms that never meet. This happens if you start a rhythm, like a quintuplet, on the beat and one, like a triplet, off beat. This can, with different rhythms, give very intricate interwoven patterns, that gives the illusion that they are not cyclic. In my case I use the two ratio five to seven, in the described way.
This rythms have the strange property that if you take each 5th note of the seven and each 7 note of the five you get a ratio almost identical: 49:50. This is very intriguing, as you can use the possibility of letting them be equal or the possibility of letting them interfere. In the first case you get an interlocking rhythm which is “smooth”; an equal rhythmic pattern. In the second case you get a similar situation, but where one of them is one short after 50 of the other ones, which results in a disturbing almost equality, but not quite.
Therefore the title: because when I use the unequal rhythm I put the two layers in a similar tone register, or a similar way of playing, and when I use the equal one I put them a part tone wise speaking. This is a very technical description, but it is very hard to put it in more wide terms, but you might compare it with driving in a train and looking at two fence rows behind each other: if the poles are placed exactly halfway between each other you will experience an illusion of a fast jump if there is enough distance between them, as a result of the perspective. If they are placed in a way that there are almost the same numbers of poles, like 49:50, you will experience a very complex pattern, which seems unpredictable.
But of course when using it in music the whole thing is somewhat different, but even then it gives an idea of my preoccupation. What also intrigues me is that the relations are very hard to use in a musical way, and that is also quire a challenge.´
Finally I have to say that I enjoyed very much writing for Poing, as these crazy guys are capable of doing almost anything you want in an nearly literal sense.
- Karsten Fundal summer 2004.