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L'homme armé


  • Alto Saxophone, Percussion (2 players)

  • Duration 10 min.

  • First performance (original version) on July 5, 2003, at the Time of Music Festival in Viitasaari, Finland by Olli-Pekka Tuomisalo & Aki Virtanen. First performance (new version) on May 5, 2010, at the ISCM World Music Days in Sydney, Australia by Michael Duke, Alison Pratt & Daryl Pratt

  • Recording: SaxCussion, Finnish Music for Saxophone & Percussion, OPTCD-11009 (2011), Olli-Pekka Tuomisalo, saxophone, Aki Virtanen, percussion

L’homme armé is a Burgundian melody which was very well-known and a popular tune during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was widely used as a cantus firmus in many masses by Dufay, Josquin, and Ockeghem, to mention a few. I decided to continue this tradition and use the melody in a new context. The tune is augmented, and even the shortest time values last in their new form for around ten seconds. In this way, the augmented melody forms a kind of skeleton or a structural basis for the whole work. I have also studied the form and the interval structure of the original l’homme armé melody and then applied these same features to this new work for saxophone and percussion. TR, 2003

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