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Spherical Harmonics  

(for 5-­‐50  vocalists  singing  and  whistling  simultaneously)        

    -­‐

A conductor  is  responsible  for  determining  the  length  of  each  section  and  for  guiding  the  dynamic   contour.  Total  duration,  7  –  12  minutes.  Adequate  space  and  time  should  be  given  to  each  section,   with  notable  pauses  between  each  cue.  Sections  B,  C,  and  E  may  be  held  slightly  longer  than  all   others.  Dynamic  changes  are  taken  gradually  and  non-­‐dramatically.  

-­‐

The sung  note  A  at  the  beginning  and  end  of  the  piece  may  be  sung  in  any  register;  it  is  not  restricted   to  A4.  The  register  should  be  chosen  by  each  performer  individually  based  on  the  ease  of  achieving  a   simultaneous  whistled  note.  

-­‐

Throughout the  piece,  the  shape  of  the  performers’  mouths  should  be  such  that  they  are  prepared  to   whistle  at  any  moment.  This  will  prevent  unwanted  timbral  shifts  at  the  introduction  of  the  whistled   notes  at  sections  A  and  D.  

-­‐

The up  arrow  with  an  ‘x’  through  it  indicates  whistling  the  note  that  naturally  fits  the  mouth,   although  this  may  change,  particularly  when   the  dynamic  level  is  altered.  If  a  performer  is  capable  of   controlling  both  notes  independently,  no  attempt  should  be  made  to  do  so,  and  the  first  whistled   pitch  should  be  maintained.  When  the  sung  note  drops  out  at  B  and  again  at  E,  the  last  whistled  pitch   should  be  held  for  the  remainder  of  that  section.  

-­‐

The note  head  with  an  ‘x’  through  it  in  sections  C  and  D  indicates  that  the  sung  note  is  not  specified   and  should  correspond  to  that  which  was  last  whistled  individually  in  section  B.  Octave   transpositions  are  preferred  to  singing  falsetto  or  otherwise  straining  the  voice.  If  one  is  not  certain   which  whistled  note  is  theirs,  a  best  guess  is  made  or  one  may  sing  the  whistled  pitch  of  a  nearby   neighbor.  

-­‐

The three  vertical  marks  that  appear  above  several  section  letters  (B,  C,  F,  G)  signify  that  the  new   parameter  in  each  of  those  sections  is  to  be  staggered  and  executed  individually  at  the  cue  of  the  


conductor. In  the  case  of  more  than  8  performers,  this  may  be  done  in  groups  of  several  rather  than   individually.  All  other  actions  (beginning  of  the  piece,  A,  D,  E,  and  the  final  cutoff)  are  executed  tutti  at   the  conductor’s  cue.   -­‐

The performer(s)  designated  as  being  the  first  to  re-­‐introduce  the  sung  note  A  at  section  F  may  use  a   tuning  fork  as  a  pitch  reference,  but  it  should  be  inaudible  to  the  audience.  

-­‐

Microtonal fluctuations  of  the  sung  pitch  may  naturally  occur  as  the  performers’  focus  is  shifting.  This   effect  is  not  discouraged.  

-­‐

Breaths are  taken  as  needed.  

              Todd  Lerew  2013  

Todd Lerew - spherical harmonics (v2)  

for 5-50 vocalists singing and whistling simultaneously

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