The attempt in JI Praxis Choir is to create a more rapid alternation between theory and practice, between action and reflection, as we learn just intonation. This may be simply misunderstood as “experiential learning”, but I think it is more dialectic. This is not the ages-old dichotomy between “thinking” and “doing”—yuck! One premise might be “If you can’t sing it, you don’t really know it.”

We draw a lattice on the board and on paper, then try to construct a human lattice.
In JI, these relatively large, tunable-by-ear intervals come to be related by small intervals, such as 81:80, the meantone comma—or is it Didymus’ comma? the 5-comma?—which are actually crucial to understanding the inner workings, if only to be able to notate them. One part of it is to create unforgettable, fitting names for small distinctions. The creators of Sagittal notation forged a connection with Greek mythology, and named the 5-comma symbol “Didymus’ dibbler”. But how to create a memorable earworm of an experience out of a just comma? Create a cyclical chord progression that drifts by one comma each time around.
This one is a simple round of 4:5:6 triads which teaches two different semitones, 16:15 and 25:24, and their difference, 128:125 (the lesser daisy):
These seem to be a poignant portal into intervals that are often abandoned to the abstract number world.

4 responses »

  1. carey says:

    I like the human lattice. It reminds me of the night sounds of insects and frogs. I can imagine the stars above, listening to it.

  2. […] apply). However, all of the other musical elements are controlled. This performance occurred at the Praxis Xenharmonic Summer Camp on 7/28/11 and was performed by Stephen, Jacob, Ralph, and myself (Chris) in the art center. Please […]

  3. vaisvil says:

    The Road to the Pretty Penny

    I do have video of Jacob playing – but right now I’m still putting together my gear from storage and this was the best I could do with Windows Live movie maker on my laptop.

    So for now – enjoy the sound of Jacob jamming in Hillsboro WV with the local bluegrass band on udderbot with time lapse video of my trip to the Xenharmonic Praxis Summer camp. – This was an all acoustic show.

  4. […] This is a video I made that uses heavily modified voice samples from the human lattice at the xenharmonic praxis summer camp and video footage from a cave I visited in Virginia. The piece is in JI since that was the point of forming a human lattice with the singers singing their particular note in the tuning at the same time. We literally built the lattice aurally. To hear some of the original audio follow this link to the Odd Music Blog. […]

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