Jonathan Harvey’s Bhakti for Chamber Ensemble and Electronics Serialism, Electronics and Spirituality

Author: Palmer, John
Year:2001
Pages:196
ISBN:0-7734-7436-6
978-0-7734-7436-9
Price:159.95
Jonathan Harvey’s Bhakti, commissioned by Pierre Boulez in association with IRCAM, has been widely recognized as one of the most influential works of the 1980s and one of the major electroacoustic compositions ever to be produced at IRCAM, Paris. It has been performed worldwide by the most influential ensembles of contemporary music. This study provides the reader with a comprehensive platform of discussion including a rigorous analytical scrutiny of the serial techniques used by the composer, an in-depth exploration of the electroacoustic techniques employed for the realisation of the tape part, a discussion about the composer’s aesthetics and the correspondence between the music and its metaphysical meaning in conjunction with the Rig Veda texts that have inspired the work, an interview with the composer, and a final forum about the work including eminent musicologists, composers and conductors such as Joel Chadabe, Arnold Whittall, James Wood, Eric De Visscher and other leading personalities of the international contemporary music circuit.

Reviews

“This is a book which will make Harvey’s work more accessible in the future, not only to musicians, but also to others interested in spirituality and music inspiration. A fascinating and necessary book which gives great insight into one of the most important pieces from the last twenty years.” – Dr. Pete Stollery

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings):
Foreword; Preface
1. Background: composer’s electroacoustic output before Bhakti; IRCAM; the commission; the concept; the literary texts
2. The Form: infrastructure and instrumentation; motions; tempi; rhythm
3. Pitch Strategies, Melodic and Harmonic Gestalt
4. The Organisation of Timbre: the mirror of sound; extended instrumentation; macro-level; micro-level
5. Overview and Interpretation: the movements; symbolism of listening
6. Retrospection and Forum: Rationale; a retrospective with Jonathan Harvey; forum (Joel Chadabe, Eric De Visscher, Micha Hamel, Denis Lorrain, Peter Manning, Cathy Milliken, Arnold Whittall, James Wood)
Appendix; Glossary; Bibliography; Index