ICE UNDECIM (2018)

 
 
/* notae technico-hyleticae */
“ice undecim” is constructed around two numbers significant to the formation of the hydrogen-ordered form of ice, known as "ice xi" — first, 3.4 (the hydrogen bonding ratio of water); second, 0.931 (the density of ice relative to the density of water). the work's cantus firmus is a tape recording of ice being melted by hot water. the composition as a whole is structured around a stretto of 11 diminuted iterations of this cantus firmus arranged such that statement x_n begins 93.1% along the way towards the total duration of statement x_n-1. these cantus firmus statements are collectively ornamented by two other elements — first, a series of guitar harmonics (specifically 10; that is, 2 on each of the five strings other than the fundamental of a guitar tuned to c# = 136.1 hz, all of which are retrograded and processed through various analog and digital effects); and second, a synthesized drone, the pitch-structure of which is governed by frequency ratios that begin by expanding gradually to (3.4)x and its reciprocal - i.e. (1/3.4)x - before ultimately expanding more rapidly to the double octave (4:1, also the bonding ratio of hydrogen in ice).