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Petrichor (2007) [7']


Presentation History
- Premiere: Kenneth Long, neoPhonia New Music Ensemble, Atlanta, GA, 10/9/07
- "Signals of the Vitruvian Man" (tape-only). Belfast, UK 2/29/08
- Tadej Kenig, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 10/27/08
- Tadej Kenig, Lugano, Switzerland, 11/3/08
- Tadej Kenig, Basel, Switzerland, 11/5/08
- Asuka Yamamato, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, New York City, 4/4/09
- Tadej Kenig, sound festival, Aberdeen, UK 11/11/09
- Wayne Thomas, University of Huddersfield (UK), 1/31/13


Petrichor is a term coined by researchers I.J. Bear and R.G. Thomas that describes the pleasant fragrance of rain. The fragrance is actually a combination of various chemical compounds collected on rocks and soil, so the term combines the Greek words "petros" (stone) and "ichor" (the blood of the gods in Greek mythology). This piece depicts a rainy summer afternoon, beginning with a thunderstorm and followed by a more subdued rainshower.

Score
Recording: Tadej Kenig, clarinet


This work also exists in a version for tape alone (mp3) and an extended version for installation.

Further info:
I wrote Petrichor the summer after I graduated with my Master's from Georgia State, before embarking on my next one at Queen's University Belfast. I tried to capture my impression of a rainy summer afternoon in Georgia. At the same time, I still used twelve-tone techniques; the first half is a fairly linear use of the set, while the second half projects chords derived from this set for longer periods of time. This and Parallel Lives, written the same summer, are the last pieces where I used twelve-tone technique in a systematic way.

The sounds in this piece were created in Csound. The sound source is a recording of rain, which is at times chopped up and granulated, and run through resonant filters throughout. I used the algorithmic utility nGen to generate some of the rhythms of the more chime-like parts in the second half, while all of the rhythms in the first half were composed by hand first.