CHARLES COREY: IN PARADISUM
for viola and Harmonic Canon (2017)
World Premiere: Melia Watras, viola; Charles Corey, Harmonic Canon; May 13, 2018, Meany Theater, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
The title In Paradisum refers both to the antiphon “In Paradisum,” and to a focus on simple, pure mathematical relationships. These proportions govern the formal, rhythmic, and pitch structures of the piece, and – as the work is composed in just-intonation – also serve as note names. The viola is in a just-intoned scordatura; every pitch in In Paradisum is generated from the overtone series of 64/33, a pitch 53.3 cents below Gn to which the third string of the viola is tuned. As for the antiphon, though fragmented and presented in several keys, it is played in its entirety by the viola over the course of this work.
Many thanks to Melia Watras, who, after two years of performing chamber duos together, asked me to write this piece for us and dedicated a great deal of time to helping me refine the score.