• for guitar quartet
  • duration c. 10:00
  • World Premiere on 18 August 2017 in Würzburg by Kirsi Tilk, Teuvo Taimioja, Bettina Schmidt, Ana R. Lama Benitez
  • published by:
    Theophilius Productions
  • PDF (1st page)


„Pixel“ starts with a single accentuated sound with a very strong and fast vibrato. In the following, its vibrating is slowed down and – to put it another way – screened (“pixeled”) in a musical way. This occurs in the temporal axis (sixteenth notes) as well as in the pitch bend/variation (sixth of tones). According to this, the temporal duration of one pixel is a sixteenth note and the spacing between the pixels is in each case a sixth of tone. Due to the pixeling, the actual slowly oscillating sound is vaguely developed in two respects: On the one hand, it is rhythmic (by the constant movement in sixteenth notes), on the other hand, it is blurred in its fluctuation in pitch (by the display of notes in layerings of up to five pixels). In my opinion, this reduction of data, as it results out of every screening (and even is its purpose), is not to be considered as loss. On the contrary, for me these pixels are seeds which can germ and grow.

I realized that while listening to microtonal music one finds one’s way more easily, if one can be oriented towards scales. Apparently, those scales give useful guidelines to the auditory sense which allows us to experience the unusual microtonal harmonies as something almost familiar. This is the reason why this piece is composed of a network of scales, which form the supporting structure of this composition almost like a basso continuo. At the moment, the Pixel-seeds are growing, the actual music entwines the framework of scales like an outer skin or cover. Bass tones and the notes of the melody, chords, colors, rhythm and groove arise from this framework. Even though the scales are not consciously perceived, they nevertheless are noticeable guidelines and a very strong regulative principle of this composition, which creates a stable kind of microtonality. As a result, the music is tangible, comprehensible, quasi substantial and at the same time microtonal in any moment.

Translation: Eva-Maria Markert

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