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Canon 'Adagio senza tempo'
for solo pipe organ

Work no. 32

The second in a planned triptych of organ pieces from 2010–12, in which the third was never completed, and the first was Rondo 'Moderato misterioso' (2010). Each of the two voices of the canon is polyphonic, so entire chord sequences are imitated. The canonic process is further obscured by some free material introduced when the voices exchange roles.

This was the first of a few pieces in which I used the golden mean to structure a piece. There's a sharp break at a point defined by the ratio, and from there on the music has a clearer sound, and the imitation can be heard fairly easily. It's as if the reflection is a clearer image than the original, an idea that took hold of me then and informed some of my later music (e.g. Narcissus' Mirror for choir, composed eight years later).

The piece was first performed in September 2020 by Carson Cooman on a 2014 Orgelbau Fleiter organ. He has very kindly made his performance available online:

PDF score

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