2012+10 Fourths + Fifths

“Fourths + Fifths” is the first of three movements from Kenza (2012), and the fourth movement in the cycle of nine in Children’s Suite (2007-2014). It was composed the year my second child Kenza was born. Like all the other movements in the suite, it’s written entirely on the white keys of the piano, in pandiatonic C major. My intention was to create music that was both childlike and abstract.

The movement is structured around a sequence of six diatonic modes, each associated with a melodic pattern. Each pattern is built up from a single, seven-note arpeggio into a homophonic canon by layering the pattern against copies of itself with different starting points. The intervals of the fourth and fifth predominate throughout.

Performed by Stephen Clarke, piano, as part of a composer portrait concert by Arraymusic, November 2020

Audio and image from video by Daniel Tapper

Music and composer’s notes copyright Bruce A. Russell 2022

By elmahboob

Bruce A. Russell aka Ibrahim El Mahboob (b. Kingston, ON, 1968) is a composer and self-taught pianist living and working in Toronto (Tkarón:to, the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat). He studied at York University with James Tenney and Phillip Werren. He has composed music for the Madawaska String Quartet, Modern Times Stage Company, McMaster Dancers and choreographers Pam Johnson and Tracy Renee Stafford. Interest in his work increased in 2020, with performances by Arraymusic, Prism Percussion, Second Note Duo, San Juan Symphony and Idaho Falls Symphony. He was host of Radio Music Gallery, and has written for Musicworks and I Care if You Listen. His interests are in 20th and 21st century concert music especially postminimalism, and music of the African diaspora including notated and non-notated forms. He is a parent of three and is employed in the financial sector.

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