EQUIVOQUE for accordion and tape. 1985. Commissioned by Joseph Petric. Part of the SPRING EQUINOX project. 5 minutes.

EQUIVOQUE for harpsichord and tape. 1998. Part of the SPRING EQUINOX project. Tape part available at either A=440Hz or A=415Hz. Score, part and DAT tape available through PROMETHEAN EDITIONS.


Download the tape part of the accordion version as an .MP3 file

Joseph Petric: GEMS.

Joseph Petric, accordion.
ConAccord, 1989. 490491-3.
Available through Midtown Media CD purchasing centre: http://www.midtownmedia.ca/joseph.html


For more information on the make-up of this work, read the essay: The Art of the Palimpsest: Compositional Approaches to the Music of J. S. Bach

Premiere performance: 1985. Joseph Petric, accordion. Music Gallery, Toronto.

Reviews and Comments:

Equivoque is the second piece in an ongoing series of compositions based on Johann Sebastian Bach's The Art of the Fugue ollectively called Spring Equinox, and it was written for the occasion of the master's 300th birthday in 1985. Equivoque is a palimpsest of Contrapunctus XII, the first of four two-part canons in the Art of the Fugue. Basic melodic line, formal structure and tonal evolution are the same in both works, but, whereas Contrapunctus XII is entirely in D minor, Equivoque constantly fluctuates between the original key and that of A-flat minor, tonally the most distant key to D minor. As the title suggests, there is an equivocal treatment of the two tonalities. The two keys are like red and green, image and afterimage; they don't mix, yet they are complementary. There is no linear, "qualitative" modulation from one to the other, but rather a quantitative process of coexistence with various degrees of balance between the opposing tonal forces. One key is pitted against the other and both are struggling for possession of the tonal center. This causes a disturbance to the listener's sense of acoustical perspective, not unlike the kind of disturbance on experiences with some of the engravings and lithographs of M. C. Escher, an artist whose work has considerably influenced my own, particularly in this series of compositions. Equivoque is dedicated to Johann Sebastian Bach and Maurits Cornelis Escher who inspired it, to Joeph Petric who commissioned it and to my first music teacher, Charalambos Kehaides, who taught me to play the accordion.

Premiere performance: January 16, 1987 by Joseph Petric at the Start Gallery, Kitchener, Ontario.

Equivoque, the second cut on the CD is yet another unexpected surprise and delight. It is essentially a study on Baroque-like music written in two different keys (a tritone apart), again with the accordion part playing in a duet relationship with sequenced computer passages. The affect is quite surreal as the two keys approach each other, collide, and move away from each other in a cyclical pattern. Each time the "collision" occurs, it's like two different tonal colors splashing together to form a third atonal color, each time pushing any kind of tonal focus just beyond the listener's grasp. Quite an innovative concept that literally snapped me to attention as soon as I heard it. I only wish I had thought of this idea first. The accordion part is quite intense and involved in spite of the relatively short length of the piece and once again, Petric's performance is flawless, sensitive, and in a word, beautiful. 

Joseph Natoli, THE FREE-REED REVIEW (Internet)

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