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Johnson, Tom / Samuel Vriezen

The Chord Catalogue. Within Fourths/Within Fifths

Johnson, Tom / Samuel Vriezen : The Chord Catalogue. Within Fourths/Within Fifths (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

Pianist Samuel Vriezen performs Tom Johnson's work presenting what Johnson describes as a natural phenomenon within a musical scale: progressions in 1 to 5 voices of all possible combinations of notes with each voice being limited to 3 steps, a perfect 4th or a perfect 5th.

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product information:

UPC: 4011778041795

Label: Edition Wandelweiser Records
Catalog ID: EWR 1304
Squidco Product Code: 21827

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2013
Country: Germany
Packaging: Cardstock 3 page foldover
Recorded at Haarlem in December 2012 and April 2013 by Bastiaan Kuijt and Matthijs Ruijter.


Tom Johnson-composer

Samuel Vriezen-piano

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Artist Biographies:

"Tom Johnson (born November 18, 1939 in Greeley, Colorado), is an American minimalist composer, a former student of Morton Feldman. He earned his Bachelors and Masters degree from Yale University. His pieces are most often based simply on mathematical and logical processes, such as tiling, which he attempts to make as clear as possible. His works include: The Four Note Opera, An Hour for Piano, Rational Melodies, the Bonhoeffer Oratorio, Organ and Silence, Riemannoper, and Galileo. He has also composed a considerable amount of music for the guitar including Alexandrins pour guitare (1989), Canon for Six Guitars (1998), Arpeggios for Guitar (2002), and Tinkelenberg Rhythms (2014). Johnson received the French "Victoires de la Musique" prize for contemporary composition (the French equivalent of the "Grammies") in 2001 for "Kientzy Loops". He lived 15 years in New York, but in 1983 settled in Paris, where he lives with his wife, the artist Esther Ferrer."

-Wikipedia (

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"Samuel Vriezen was born in Groningen in 1973, and is a Dutch composer of mostly chamber and piano works that have been performed in Europe and elsewhere; he is also active as a pianist.

Mr. Vriezen began private piano lessons at age eight in Haarlem. He initially studied mathematics, but then studied composition with Louis Andriessen, Clarence Albertson Barlow, Martijn Padding, and Diderik Wagenaar at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag from 1994-2000. He also attended courses in computational linguistics and formal models of musical perception with Remko Scha at the University of Amsterdam.

As a pianist, he specializes in contemporary music and was the first pianist other than the composer to play The Chord Catalogue by Tom Johnson in 2003. He and Dante Oei were invited to perform and teach at the Wiener Tage für Zeitgenössische Klaviermusik in 2005.

He is also active in other positions. With Emily Doolittle, Cynthie van Eijden, Dante Oei, Cléo Palacio-Quentin, and Martijn Voorvelt, he co-organized the new music series Concerten Tot en Met in Amsterdam from 1997-2004. In addition, he is a poet and has translated American poetry (John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Laura Riding, and James Tate) into Dutch. He has organized experimental literary events for the organization Perdu in Amsterdam since 2004. Moreover, he developed the strategic card game Expansion."

-Kalvos Damian (

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track listing:

1. The Chord Catalogue - The 78 two-note chords 0:21

2. The Chord Catalogue - The 286 three-note chords 0:53

3. The Chord Catalogue - The 715 four-note chords 2:01

4. The Chord Catalogue - The 1287 five-note chords 3:48

5. The Chord Catalogue - The 1716 six-note chords 5:20

6. The Chord Catalogue - The 1716 seven-note chords 6:00

7. The Chord Catalogue - The 1287 eight-note chords 5:02

8. The Chord Catalogue - The 715 nine-note chords 3:11

9. The Chord Catalogue - The 286 ten-note chords 1:31

10. The Chord Catalogue - The 78 eleven-note chords 0:35

11. The Chord Catalogue - The 13 twelve-note chords 0:13

12. The Chord Catalogue - The 1 thirteen-note chord 0:16

13. Within Fourths - I 0:21

14. Within Fourths - II 0:38

15. Within Fourths - III 1:20

16. Within Fourths - IV 2:43

17. Within Fourths - V 6:40

18. Within Fifths - I 0:25

19. Within Fifths - II 1:00

20. Within Fifths - III 2:42

21. Within Fifths - IV 7:44

22. Within Fifths - V 23:55
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Within Fourths/Within Fifths: progressions in one to five voices of all possible combinations of notes with each voice being limited to three steps, a perfect fourth apart from the neighboring voices (Within Fourths) or to four steps, a perfect fifth apart from the neighboring voices (Within Fifths). I like to think of The Chord Catalogue as a sort of natural phenomenon - something which has always been present in the ordinary musical scale, and which I simply observed, rather than invented. It is not so much a composition as simply a list."-Tom Johnson

Related Categories of Interest:

Compositional Forms
Piano & Keyboards
Solo Artist Recordings
New in Compositional Music

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