CONCEPTION (2012)

double concerto

for quarter-tone guitar,

quarter-tone accordion

and orchestra

30'


soloists and 41 musicians:

solo quarter-tone guitar (amplified) +

solo quarter-tone accordion (can be amplified) +

2 flutes (2. flute doubling piccolo), 2 oboes,

1 Bb clarinet, Bb bass clarinet, 2 bassoons,

2 horns (in F), 2 C trumpets, timpani, 1 harp,

8 I violins, 7 II violins, 5 violas, 4 cellos,

3 double basses (5 strings, the lowest string B natural)



commissioned by Tapiola Sinfonietta

dedicated to Veli Kujala and Juuso Nieminen



premiere: April 25, 2014

Juuso Nieminen, quarter-tone guitar,

Veli Kujala, quarter-tone accordion,

Tapiola Sinfonietta,

Hannu Lintu, conductor

Tapiolan kirkko

Espoo





Program notes


Conception (2012, 30 min) is a double concerto for quarter-tone guitar, quarter-tone accordion and orchestra of 41 musicians. The composition was commissioned by Tapiola Sinfonietta. The double concerto is in three movements, with the second movement leading directly into the third without pause. In the third movement there is a cadenza consisting of both free and structured improvisation.


Juuso Nieminen’s quarter-tone guitar was made by Keijo Korelin in Finland in 2014. It is an ordinary, normally-tuned 6-stringed concert guitar with added quarter-tone frets all along the fingerboard. The distance between adjacent frets on the string is thus a quarter-tone instead of a semitone.


Veli Kujala invented a quarter-tone accordion in 2005. It differs physically from a standard concert accordion in that it has quarter-tone reed blocks instead of the conventional ones, thus enabling the player to produce a complete quarter-tone scale over almost five octaves. The quarter-tone reed blocks were designed by Kujala and made by the Pigini accordion factory in Italy in 2006. The tuning system used in the quarter-tone guitar and the quarter-tone accordion is the quarter-tone equal temperament, in which the scale divides an octave into 24 equal-ratio steps.


Today many composers are interested in using microintervals. This increases demand for instruments able to produce them. The quarter-tone guitar and the quarter-tone accordion are certain answers for this demand.


The double concerto Conception is dedicated to Veli Kujala and Juuso Nieminen.


Sampo Haapamäki

© Sampo Haapamäki 2018

säveltäjä composer