Performance highlights for Revelation: Music in Pure Intonation

De Natura Sonorum Festival, Mattatoio Museum, Rome, Italy (upcoming)
Minimal Music Festival at Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ 
Beyond: Microtonal Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Wordless Music Series
Bang On A Can Marathon, Newman Center of the Performing Arts, Colorado,
Music in the Morning, Vancouver, Santa Fe New Music, Klavier Festival Ruhr
The Winter Constellation from “Just Constellations,” recorded by Roomful of Teeth in the ultra-reverberant acoustics of The Tank (click album cover for preview). Album to be released in January on New Amsterdam Records.
Michael Harrison's unprecedented and epic work Revelation: Music In Pure Intonation, completed in 2006, has gained momentum as the world acknowledges the sheer beauty and importance of this music. Critic Tim Page wrote after a performance by Michael at Spoleto Festival USA, "Say it plainly - Michael Harrison's  Revelation: Music in Pure Intonation  is probably the most brilliant and original extended composition for solo piano since the early works of Frederic Rzewski three decades ago (and no, I am not forgetting Elliott Carter).
The recording, TIME LOOPS, features the work JUST ANCIENT LOOPS , enhanced by a Bill Morrison film.

"In Just Ancient Loops ," says cellist Maya Beiser, "these unique musical relationships allow the sound of the cello to shimmer and bounce. It's as if you are turning all the artificial lights off and just letting the rays of sunlight into your space." In this collaboration, Beiser and Harrison's musical and spiritual worlds converge. 
Upcoming Events:

In November, Michael performs Revelation at De Natura Sonorum Festival in the Mattatoio Museum, Rome, Italy.

In December, Michael travels to Berlin to record a new album of just intonation piano and ambient electronics with  Christina Vantzou John Also Bennett , and producer  Francesco Donadello

In February, a new multi-media work entitled Floating Just Above for multi-track cellos and electronics will be premiered by Pieter Stas at the Passages Festival in Belgium.
Michael Harrison's new work for Alarm Will Sound " ... one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene"(New York Times), entitled Time Cycles is one of the most unique pieces in Michael's output. Listen to "Time Cycles" by tapping images to the left.

Time Cycles, Part 1 is comprised entirely of justly tuned constellations of tones using partials 1, 3, 7, 9 and 21 (with most tones duplicated in the octaves above and below the original position in the harmonic series where these partials occur). Distilling this further, the work is based on the harmonic primes 2, 3 and 7. Most Western music, although usually performed in equal temperament, is harmonically based on the primes 2, 3 and 5. By replacing prime 5 with prime 7, a fundamental element of Western harmony is removed and replaced with a new element, which, although it has a strong presence in nature and the harmonic series, has only rarely been used in Western music. This fundamental shift lays the foundation for a “new” harmonic language that was pioneered by La Monte Young’s in his epic The Well-Tuned Piano , and subsequently used in my work Revelation: Music in Pure Intonation .

--Michael Harrison
ABOUT MICHAEL HARRISON

Composer and pianist Michael Harrison occupies a unique place in the world of music. His works are a blend of European musical traditions and those of North Indian classical music, forging an entirely new approach to composition through tunings and methodologies that employ and extend the ancient concept of “just intonation.” 

Harrison earned international recognition when  Revelation , his 75-minute work for piano in his own “just intonation” tuning, was selected as one of the Best Classical Recordings of the Year by The New York Times, The Boston Globe and TimeOut New York, and when  Time Loops , with cellist Maya Beiser, was selected in NPR’s Top 10 Classical Albums of 2012. 

Equally at home writing for voices (Roomful of Teeth), chamber orchestra (Alarm Will Sound), and Indian classical musicians, his music defies classification; yet many composers and critics confer that he is one of the most innovative artists of his generation, including Philip Glass, who called him an “American Maverick.” Inspired by both the Beatles and Bach, post-modern and jazz, Harrison blends Renaissance beauty with minimalist methodology, Eastern aesthetics with modern technology. The result is a body of concert music, interdisciplinary collaborations, and acclaimed solo albums. 

Harrison's music was transformed by discovering La Monte Young’s  The Well-Tuned Piano , a work which he spent years learning, performing and perfecting the tuning. He also performs Indian classical music, having studied extensively in India and the U.S. with Pandit Pran Nath, Mashkoor Ali Khan, and Terry Riley. Harrison not only mixes styles and traditions, but also works on interdisciplinary and multimedia collaborations that use whole number proportions to illustrate universal structure. 

Harrison invented the "harmonic piano" which plays 24 notes per octave. He lives in New York and is the recipient of a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship and 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship.

Photo credit: Chris Edwards, McColl Center for Art + Innovation