I started 48 Responses to Polymorphia with the intention of writing 48 very short pieces of music, all beginning with the last chord from Penderecki’s Polymorphia – and all distorting it in different ways, and into different directions.
But, while working on this, I wrote a Bach-style chorale centred on the same chord: and that began to dominate the music. So, in the finished piece, distortions are made to this chorale, as well as to the simple C major chord.
As well as being heavily indebted to Penderecki’s music, I was also influenced by how, in the 1960s, he took his knowledge of electronic music back to the orchestra, and found ways to recreate it with strings and notation. So much of this piece is an attempt to do the same, but also with the language of more recent computer-aided sound generation and manipulation.
It’s not meant to be an orchestration of electronica – or a replacement of it, or a way of somehow apologising for orchestras: instead, it’s feeding an addiction I have to being in a space with an unamplified orchestra – 48 musicians – and all the unreproducable complexity and strangeness that they can generate to fill the room.” —Jonny Greenwood on 48 Responses to Polymorphia
Thank you! I’m glad I’ve brought so much Jonny joy to your life! Hopefully we’ll both be lucky next year, too. <3
Thank you! <3