Music in just intonation Vol. 2

by Wandering Artist

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Kyrie (Eb) 03:38
Battle (C) 04:38
Lullaby (C#) 02:57
Tears (G) 02:40
Rest (F) 02:59
Goodbye (E) 03:35
Forest (Bb) 03:32


Just intonation is a particular musical tuning in which the relationships between the notes is defined by simple whole numbers (like 2:3, 4:3 and so on). That is not the case with the usual tuning we all use (equal temperament) in which the relationship between each note of the scale is defined by an irrational number, the 12th root of 2. Nowadays we are all accustomed to this tuning, but the use of such irrational number caused some imperfections when playing some intervals together, causing them to be less pure.

This album and the previous one (Music in just intonation) are like two side of the same coin, they’re both in just intonation, but while the first one focused more on major keys with a clean and bright sound, this second volume will focus more on minor keys, creating a gloomy and somber atmosphere. Unlike the first album there is also a theme or environment that connects all the tracks, and that theme is: trains!

A new journey begins. While in the previous album I made essentially “ambient” tracks, with this one I wanted to tell some kind of story too. The melodic material in this piece is present in all the pieces of the album like a leitmotiv.

A mechanical pattern is repeated by several percussion instruments while whistling strings and flutes are bouncing on top of it. In the middle section, time seems to slow-down while keeping the same bpm and when the music returns to the initial theme the mechanical percussion is gone, leaving every melody in a kind of void.

Night Train
Like the title suggests this song tries to recreate the departure of a train and its arrest, it starts slowly then begins to accelerate until it reaches the right tempo and it slows down in the end. The irregular 7/4 time signature is also used to give some kind of momentum to the music.

The mechanical idea from the song Timetable returns here with this dulcimer+pizzicato pattern while a ehru and cello are having some kind of duet based on the structure of a Kyrie (3-part structure).

Probably the most aggressive song on the album, it starts with few notes and every time the music reaches a climax it gets interrupted by a ferocious brass chord.

I spent a lot of time fixing this song because it was never like I excepted it. It’s still kinda weird I think, a lullaby in 5/4 time with this dreamy/creepy melody.

Very somber song, basically just piano and strings except for the middle section with a bass clarinet solo. Piano harmonics in just intonation have a really interesting sound that I wanted to explore in this piece.

This is a piece for string quartet inspired by none other that Kronos Quartet, a formation that I really love. It’s very quiet on purpose, in some parts I wanted the ambience to be on top of the actual music.

One last melodic song before ending the journey. A repeating chord progression is played by the strings and the kalimba while the song is alternating verses and refrains. The ending was the last thing I did on the album, the song originally ended with a fade out but I think the new slowed down section in the finale adds a moment of closure to the whole piece.

Happiness - Daylight Train
After so many sad and gloomy tracks something more refreshing. The same flute patterns from Timetable is used here and the same melodies from the first piece of the album are revisited in a more lively light.

The main melodic theme of the album is presented here in all its glory in the form of a violin/flute duet. I think it’s a refreshing piece considering the overall gritty mood of the album but it also ends with a hint of train hissing in the distance…maybe the journey never ended.


released February 15, 2019

artwork by varva




Wandering Artist Italy

"All those who wander are lost, but that's not a bad thing"

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