Horizontal Drift (2016)
for quarter-tone guitar and electronics [10:00]


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“As well as being warped by the sun and rotted by rain and humidity, many
of the buildings in the Quarter sloped markedly as a result of subsidence.
This straying from the vertical was complemented by a horizontal drift.
The volume of detritus carried south by the Mississippi was such that the
river was silting itself up and changing course so that, effectively, the city
was moving. Every year the streets moved a fraction of an inch in relation
to the river, subtly altering the geography of the town.”
— Geoff Dyer, “Horizontal Drift”

 

Like the slowly shifting topography of the city of New Orleans,
Horizontal Drift stretches in two dimensions. The first is in the
domain of pitch, where an altered fretboard gives the possibility of
quarter-tone gradations. Second, in the realm of time: the piece is a
series of flexible loops (created with the loopsculptor) whose
length and transposition are constantly varied, often overlapping as
one fragment drifts into the next…

Horizontal Drift was commissioned and premiered by Juuso Nieminen;
a live recording/video of the first performance can be found below.