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Late Music

Sarah Davachi - Long Gradus

Sarah Davachi - Long Gradus

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'Long Gradus' is a long-form composition in four parts, written in its initial form for string quartet, that was developed as an iteration of an ongoing preoccupation with chordal suspension and cadential structure. In this context, horizontal shifts in pitch material and texture occur on a very gradual scale, allowing the listener's perceptions to settle on the spatial experience of harmony.

A system of septimal just intonation as well as a baroque scordatura that emphasizes the sympathetic resonance of strings tuned in both pure fifths and unisons help to further the production of a consonant acoustic environment. 'Long Gradus' uses a formalized articulation of time-bracket notation alongside unfixed indications of pitch, texture, and voicing that allow the players some discretion in determining the shape of the piece. A sense of pacing that is markedly different from that of mensural notation emerges accordingly, while the open structure of the composition results in each performance having a unique configuration.

A 'gradus' is a sort of handbook meant to aid in learning a difficult practice; in this case, 'Long Gradus' is designed to considerably slow the cognitive movements of both listener and player, and to focus their attention on the relationships between moments.
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