elongated micro-photo 13 by Archie F. Wilson

Canonical Minutes (sinfonia version) (2020)
chamber orchestra

Robert Morris

Program Notes

Canonical Minutes (sinfonia version) is an orchestration of my piece for pipe organ of the same name. The organ work was written in March 2006 as part of a larger composition, SOUND/PATH/FIELD, on commission from the Society for New Music to celebrate its thirty-fifth anniversary.

This new sinfonia version completely preserves the pitch structure of its predecessor based on a cycle of 29 notes that overlaps all twenty-nine of the tetrachordal harmonies available in the 12-note, equal-tempered system–each harmony occurring exactly once in the cycle. Each ordered tetrachord in the cycle becomes the subject to a canon, so the piece can be described as a series of 29 canons.