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BAOBAB

for orchestra
Phill Niblock
2011

. strings and winds. and with clouds of overtones and difference tones. but the “cloud” will always be present. No hard attacks should be used: a moderately dull attack should occur at the beginning of each note. The work was commissioned by Petr Kotik for premiere at the Ostrava New Music Days 2011. The measures are each one minute. Fade notes out fairly quickly rather than abruptly ending them. The piece calls for very subtle gradations of tuning in order to achieve a richness of ensemble sound. in Ostrava. In each part one note changes to the next. The score of Baobab was realised by Bob Gilmore following instructions from Phill Niblock.Baobab is a work for orchestra. Czech Republic. Each line / part is 23 minutes in length. No vibrato should be used: straight tones only. Be careful not to use glissandi to move from one note to the next. The instruments will be capable of sustained sounds and variable pitch. The score consists of two pages which are to be played simultaneously. although the instruments could be randomized. people sitting adjacent should not have the same parts. The microtonal displacements are conceived in gradations of 10 cents. Avoid crescendos. full of beatings of near-unison pitches. A full tone should be maintained throughout. General comments: Phill Niblock’s music utilizes dense collections of microtones to yield a unique sonic palette. therefore implying a “space” of ten divisions of the equaltempered semitone. about ten seconds. The density will change throughout the piece. The musicians should feel they are part of an intonational cloud of sound. but a bit before or after. All instruments should be dynamically balanced: players should be sensitive to their dynamics in the perspective of the whole ensemble. Each player follows one line / one part of the score. these are antithetical to Niblock’s musical language. The parts should be distributed randomly among the orchestra. In principle everyone plays all the time: breaks for a short rest are fine. Players should change notes not on the minute. lasting 23 minutes. perhaps one breath or bow. The orchestra is seated on stage in a normal configuration. String players should use a slow bowing. generally by a graded sequence of microtonal steps.

you will never play a note exactly the same twice: if retaking a bow or breath within a measure.. A clock will be visible. but the use of a higher octaves are welcome if the texture is getting too “muddy”. Intonation: Try to pitch the notes as accurately as you can. everyone should play long tones continuously. The intention is that. ideally.Durations: while resting as needed. Notation: (100 cents = semitone) No indication = 0-10 cents around the note + or - = 10-20 cents above or below the note ++ or .- = 40-50 cents above or below the note (= ± half-sharp or half-flat) .. though you should stay within fifteen seconds of the clock time. but long bow strokes are to be used throughout. This will usually mean that you are in the lower two octaves of your instrument. Octave: generally each instrument should use the octaves with the fullest tone. relaxed long breath. either before or after the minute. Proceed to the next measure at your leisure. an extremely small fluctuation in the intonation of the note is desirable once you recommence. that is fine. Time: each “measure” of the score equals one minute.- = 20-30 cents above or below the note +++ or . If you hear a high overtone you want to get close to with your pitch to create greater tonal beating. This will generate the best overtones which are essential to create the right sound. not exactly on the minute. Keep octave changes occasional and only after having explored one particular octave for a while. Perfect accuracy is not expected: a small amount of imprecision will not spoil the overall intent of the music.- = 30-40 cents above or below the note ++++ or . Strings may make discrete bow changes where needed.. Wind instruments should play a nice.

2011 7’ 8’ 9’ 10’ 11’ 12’ 13’ 14’ 15’ 16’ 17’ 18’ 19’ 20’ 21’ 22’ (23’) 1 C ++++ C ++++ C ++++ C ++++ C +++ C +++ C +++ C +++ C++ C++ C ++ C++ C+ C+ C+ C C C C C C C C 2 C +++ C +++ C +++ C +++ C +++ C++ C++ C++ C++ C++ C+ C+ Bb Bb + Bb + Bb + Bb ++ Bb ++ Bb +++ Bb +++ Bb ++++ Bb ++++ Bb ++++ 3 C++ C++ C++ C++ C++ C++ C+ C+ C+ C+ C+ C+ C+ C C C C C+ C+ C+ C++ C++ C++ 4 C+ C+ C+ C+ C+ C+ C+ C+ C+ C+ C C Bb Bb Bb Bb + Bb + Bb + Bb + Bb ++ Bb ++ Bb ++ Bb ++ 5 C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C+ C++ C++ C +++ C +++ C ++++ C ++++ 6 B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B-- B-- B--- B--- B--- B ---- B ---- 7 B- B- B- B- B- B- B- B- B- B- B B Bb Bb Bb - Bb - Bb - Bb - Bb -- Bb -- Bb -- Bb -- Bb -- 8 B-- B-- B-- B-- B-- B-- B- B- B- B- B- B- B- B B B B- B- B- B-- B-- B-- B-- 9 B--- B--- B--- B--- B--- B-- B-- B-- B-- B-- B- B- Bb -- Bb - Bb - Bb -- Bb -- Bb --- Bb --- Bb --- Bb ---- Bb ---- Bb ---- 10 B ---- B ---- B ---- B ---- B--- B--- B--- B--- B-- B-- B-- B-- B- B- B- B B B B B B B B .BAOBAB score: 2 pages to be played simultaneously 0’ 1’ 2’ 3’ 4’ 5’ 6’ Phill Niblock.

0’ 1’ 2’ 3’ 4’ 5’ 6’ 7’ 8’ 9’ 10’ 11’ 12’ 13’ 14’ 15’ 16’ 17’ 18’ 19’ 20’ 21’ 22’ (23’) 11 C ++++ C ++++ C ++++ C ++++ C +++ C +++ C +++ C +++ C++ C++ C ++ Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb 12 C +++ C +++ C +++ C +++ C +++ C++ C++ C++ C++ C++ C+ Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb + Bb + Bb + Bb + Bb + Bb + Bb + 13 C++ C++ C++ C++ C++ C++ C+ C+ C+ C+ Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb + Bb + Bb + Bb + Bb ++ Bb ++ Bb ++ Bb ++ Bb ++ 14 C+ C+ C+ C+ C+ C+ C+ C+ C+ C+ Bb Bb Bb + Bb + Bb + Bb ++ Bb ++ Bb ++ Bb ++ Bb +++ Bb +++ Bb +++ Bb +++ 15 C C C C C C C C C Bb Bb Bb Bb + Bb + Bb ++ Bb ++ Bb +++ Bb +++ Bb +++ Bb ++++ Bb ++++ Bb ++++ Bb ++++ 16 B B B B B B B B B Bb Bb Bb Bb - Bb - Bb -- Bb -- Bb --- Bb --- Bb --- Bb ---- Bb ---- Bb ---- Bb ---- 17 B- B- B- B- B- B- B- B- B- B- Bb Bb Bb - Bb - Bb - Bb -- Bb -- Bb -- Bb -- Bb --- Bb --- Bb --- Bb --- 18 B-- B-- B-- B-- B-- B-- B- B- B- B- B- Bb Bb Bb Bb - Bb - Bb - Bb - Bb -- Bb -- Bb -- Bb -- Bb -- 19 B--- B--- B--- B--- B--- B-- B-- B-- B-- B-- B- Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb - Bb - Bb - Bb - Bb - Bb - Bb - 20 B ---- B ---- B ---- B ---- B--- B--- B--- B--- B-- B-- B-- Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb Bb .