Lee Weisert – Tethyis

Published in Music Incubator, New Works


Lee Weisert: Tethyis (2010)


The conceptual basis for Tethyis was inspired by an idea from the book Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? by Barry Blesser and Linda Ruth-Salter. The authors make a distinction between so-called “primary (independent) sonic events” and “secondary (slave) sonic events.” In normal listening we are mostly attuned to primary events (a car horn, thunder, an oboe melody), while the slave events (window rattles, difference tones, reed spittle) are barely perceived. In this piece I attempted to even the playing field by artificially “amplifying” the slave events, which I typically find to be more interesting and aesthetically pleasing anyway.

There are three types of material in Tethyis: drones, primary events, and slave events. There are also occasional brief appearances of major triads, representing a fourth, “cultural,” level of acoustical organization. This recording is a performance by the infallible Callithumpian Consort, conducted by Stephen Drury (who makes a funny joke at the beginning).

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