Canonical Minutes, page 12

Canonical Minutes (2006)
pipe organ

Robert Morris

Program Notes

Canonical Minutes was written in March 2006 on commission from the Society for New Music to celebrate its thirty-fifth anniversary. It was premiered in Hendricks Chapel, Syracuse University, as part of a larger composition, SOUND/PATH/FIELD, performed on the University Quadrangle on September 24, 2006. Nevertheless, it can stand alone as a concert piece.

Like SOUND/PATH/FIELD, it is 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. However, unlike its progenitor, it is much shorter and totally canonical throughout, hence the title.

Canonical Minutes is dedicated to Kola Owolabi, who gave its first performance as part of SOUND/PATH/FIELD.