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Morton Subotnick

Ascent Into Air

for ensemble and electronics

clarinet, bass clarinet, trombone, bass trombone, 2 cellos, 3 percussion, electronics (1981)
Duration25'
CommissionThis work was commissioned by Madame Pierre Schlumberger for IRCAM, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.
PremiereJanuary 18, 1982; Georges Pompidou Center, Paris; Ensemble InterContemporain; Peter Eötvös, conductor
Technical requirementsElectronics are not included with purchase.
PublisherSchott Music

Media

Program Note

Ascent Into Air for two clarinets, two trombones, three percussion, two pianos, two celli, and computer-generated sound, is the first part of a larger work called The Double Life of Amphibians. Each part is a complete work which can be performed independently. The Double Life of Amphibians is a metaphor which is used to provide a model for the structure of the work as well as suggesting the nature of the musical materials. The metaphor, briefly stated, deals with the idea that amphibians while providing the evolutionary link to all vertebrate land-air life were (and are still) dependent on a water environment. They correspond well to the saying "...neither fish nor fowl." This idea becomes a metaphor for all similar situations where a major evolutionary change is about to take place (whether cultural or structural) and where two simultaneous or alternating, and often contradictory, modes of behavior exist.

In many respects, working in an art with technology is a clear example of this metaphor. We are at an evolutionary point in the development of this extension (transformation?) of our ability to communicate, i.e. the transformation of the content as well as the mode of communication. This metaphor is expressed at many levels of the work. The following is an outline of some of these ways:

1) Each instrument has a double, placed on opposite sides of the stage.
2) The computer acts as a paralleled instrument responding to all gestures of the celli while existing in its separate place both timbrally and spatially.
3) The two pianos and percussion form one group together, while the celli and the computer form a second group... but,
4) These two together create a liquid-like environment for the work... an environment of a timbral and textural medium which is articulated by "waves" of amplitude and spatial changes.
5) The clarinets and trombones create a more 'normal' musical reality utilizing more recognizable musical materials that produce a counterpoint to the music of the celli, pianos, percussion, and computer.
6) In the fifth and final section, the elements finally converge to form a synthesis and transformation of all the preceding "doubleness" (ascent).

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Types of Products

Full score and Solo Part (Digital)

Chamber Ensemble Score (Print)

Piano Reduction and solo parts (Digital)

Choral Score Set - 16 copies (Print)
Includes 8 copies of the soprano/alto part and 8 copies of the tenor/bass part.

Score and part (Digital)

Score and part (Print)

Conductor Score (Print)

Full Score/Violin Part (Print)

Full Score/Violin Part (Digital)

Piano reduction and solo part (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Digital)

Video and instructions (Digital)

Study Score in Two Volumes (Print)

Score and Parts (Digital)
Score and part PDF files are delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Soprano/Alto Part (Print)

Full Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the full score is delivered via email upon receipt.

Full Score (Print)
A print edition of the score ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Tenor/Bass Part (Print)

Parts (Digital)
A PDF file of the part(s) is delivered via email upon receipt.

Parts (Print)
A print edition of the part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt.

Solo Instrument Score (Digital)
A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Digital)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Score and Parts (Print)
A print edition of the score and part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. The email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer.

Solo Instrument Score (Print)
A print edition of the score is shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Print)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. Print edition(s) of the full score/performance score are shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Multiple copies are included if the work has more than one player. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Choral Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the choral score is delivered via email upon receipt. The set is priced to allow multiple copies of the PDF to be printed for performance by the purchasing organization only.

Choral Score Set- 8 copies (Print)
Minimum order quantity is 8 copies. Single copies are not available.

Vocal Score (Digital)

Vocal Score (Print)

Choral Score (Print)

Full Score and Solo Part (Print)
A print edition of the score and solo part ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Study Score (Print)

Study Score (Digital)