A Hundred Valleys by Michael H Dixon

from The Yasser Collection by Stephen Altoft

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A Hundred Valleys was inspired by chapter LXVI in the Tao Te King the music presents each ‘valley’ as a low note. 330 higher notes in total approach the ‘valleys,’ this number cho- sen as a way of integrating the text and music. In all sentence one has 70 alphabetic letters, sentence two has 60. 330 equals twice 60 plus 3 times 70. The music follows the text pattern to a large extent in Section 1 and in the first line of Section 3, though is more like a reflection of words in Section 2. Line one of Section 1 relates directly to “The Ri-vers and the Seas; the Seas and the Ri-vers.” The full text:

The Rivers and the Seas (because they seek a lowly place) are Lords of a hundred valleys.
Let your love flow, seek a lowly place,
you will be Lord of a hundred valleys.

All the pitches are in just intonation and are close to the natural harmonics arising out of each tube length of the 19-tone trumpet.


from The Yasser Collection, released May 28, 2019


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Stephen Altoft Germany

Stephen Altoft is dedicated to the creation of new repertoire for the trumpet. As a solo artist, and with percussionist Lee Ferguson as duo Contour, he has given concerts throughout Asia, Europe, the United States and Canada.

He is particularly working on microtonal trumpets and microtonal flugelhorn, with Donald Bousted, as Microtonal Projects.
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