Opposing Wings

“Opposing Wings” is the first of the second-generation Gravity compositions which utilize non-transposing gravity points (the longer pitch sets in the square boxes). The emphasis here is on symmetry, hence the repetition of 4s and 3s (major and minor thirds). These intervals yield a non-transposing set that duplicates the octave at 12, returning to A in order to re-route back into the piece.

The ascending version of this set (A-C-C#-E-F-G#-A) is basically the “Bitches Brew” scale transposed to A; the descending version incorporates the same intervals going in the opposite direction (A-F#-F-D-C#-Bb-A).

The ascending scale is the basis for the ensemble composition “Avoid the Obvious” (gravity 2.2), and the descending scale is used in “Oblige the Oblivious” (gravity 2.3). Both compositions involve a similar ABC structure, where the B section utilizes open improvisation on both forms of the scale. The intention is that “Opposing Wings” would be used as a tuning element during these bridge sections.

These compositions bookend the new self-titled LP by the Empty Cage Quartet, available on Prefecture Music. “Oblige…” can be heard below.

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