• Donnacha Dennehy
  • Disposable Dissonance (revised version) (2010)

  • G Schirmer Inc (World)
  • 2fl(2pic.2afl), 2cl, perc, acn, egtr, pf, 2vn, va, vc, db; elec
  • 18 min

Programme Note

Composer Note:
What a mistake any idea about the emancipation of dissonance was! Why emancipate us from one of the great painful pleasures of life? Disposable Dissonance does not so much resolve its dissonances as dispose of them. It is in three sections, each connecting to each other without a break. Each section disposes of its dissonant elements in a different fashion, the first for example uses higher odd and prime overtones to create dissonance, obliterating them then with even and lower overtones, the second uses entirely equal-tempered material, with dissonances initially resolving to the unison. As it develops the dissonances become more complex, becoming rhythmic dissonances as well. The final dissonant texture/pattern is only dissolved by the silence that follows immediately after. The topic of consonance and dissonance pervades the piece, but does not dictate its progress in a deterministic fashion. Ultimately the piece is poetic yet unsentimental, luxuriating in its transitory dissonances while pushing on at the same time, like a kind of baroque concerto on steroids. Disposable Dissonance (2009-10, revised 2012) was commissioned by Icebreaker with funds provided by the Arts Council of Ireland. The revised version was made for Crash Ensemble's performance at the Huddersfield Festival in 2012.

— Donnacha Dennehy


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