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(1998) for nine tenor saxophones, 17:00

instrumentation: nine tenor saxophones in Bb 


"Portals of Distortion" for nine tenor saxophones explores concepts of environmental fissure and the inherent chaotic acoustic aspects of the instrumental sound. The piece utilizes a technique of instrumental magnification to explore chaotic acoustic properties of the saxophone on the threshold of distorting or breaking. Augmented across the nine instruments, these distortions become portals into emerging sonic layers. The piece was based on a frozen river (imaged in Banff, Canada while Burtner was in residence at the Banff Center for the Arts in 1997) with turbulent water rushing below thick slabs of ice. Cracks in the ice revealed chaos below, sharp juxtapositions of temporal scales. 

Portals of Distortion (1998)

  • Performance materials include a PDF score

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