Relent: a Composition for Alto Saxophone, Double Bass, Two Percussion, and Interactive Electronics Page: I
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Johansen, Benjamin David. relent: A composition for alto saxophone, double bass, two
percussion, and interactive electronics. Doctor of Philosophy (Composition), May 2012, 72 pp.,
1 table, 16 figures, reference list, 41 titles.
relent is a sacred work within the genre of interactive electronic music. The 20-minute
composition is a multi-movement piece for four instrumentalists (saxophone, double bass, and
two percussion) and computer that is inspired by the gospel message. relent is specifically about
the gospel message that Christ died for man's sins, rose from the dead, and through faith in him
man can be reconciled to God.
This project was an experiment in creating a work with a programmatic extramusical
structure. In preparation for writing a piece based on Christian programmatic content, this paper
presents an overview of research conducted on the intersection between art and Christianity
referencing authors such as Harold Best, Nikolai Berdyaev, Hans Rookmaaker, Calvin Seerveld,
Daniel Seidell, A. W. Tozer, Steve Turner, and Cornelius Van Til. This work was an experiment
in trying to make very direct and specific musical ties to the narrative of the Gospel.
Another highly experimental aspect of relent was in the way interactive electronics were
used. Each acoustic instrument in the work has its own input and module within the Max patch,
extending each acoustic instrument rather than adding an electronic accompaniment component.
Additionally, non-traditional notation, both codified and real-time computer generated,
improvisation, theatrical instructions, and a completely computer generated movement makes
relent a piece that challenges and pushes the boundaries of current interactive electronic music.
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Johansen, Benjamin David. Relent: a Composition for Alto Saxophone, Double Bass, Two Percussion, and Interactive Electronics, dissertation, May 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115100/m1/2/: accessed January 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .