Tag Archives: George Perle

New short film music

Just a short post today, in between working on lots and lots of things. I’ve had the good fortune to be asked by a friend of mine to score a short (three minutes) animated film, and I thought I’d post some of what I’ve been working on to that end. I don’t think I can reveal too many details about the film itself at this point, so I’ll confine myself to talking about the music.

The director was looking for something relatively dissonant, or at least unsettling, for the main texture of the piece. To that end, I whipped out George Perle‘s Twelve-Tone Tonality, which is, after 15 years of stealing (and mostly misusing) its ideas, still one of the most difficult/rewarding music theory texts I have ever read. Perle is so pithy that there’s nary a single wasted word in the entire text–every bit is crucial.

Aaaanyway, working from the “Inversionally Complimentary Cycles” section of the text, I worked out a tone row for the piece, and then transposed it into four additional voices, moving in parallel, which gave me some nice tonal blocks to play with. After orchestrating these blocks a bit with some sounds I liked, I recorded them and then cut up and arbitrarily pieced the shards back together, which produced the “glitchy” sounds you hear. I then worked out a little melody with an inversional relationship to the original row, and started flying that over the top. This is shaping up to be a fun little piece, methinks. Anyway, have a listen, and let me know what you think!

P.S., As I was writing this post, I found out that George Perle passed away in January at his home in Manhattan at age 93. To a guy like me, who’s still at heart a music theory geek, this was heartbreaking to learn. He will be missed.