Chester Jankowski: music catalogue

Chamber + Electroacoustic

taming the monster Peano curve, 1994.

For amplified violin and horn.

The title is derived from Benoit Mandelbrot's classic treatise, The Fractal Geometry of Nature. A Peano curve, named for the Italian mathematician Giuseppe Peano (1858-1932), is a curve which represents a central idea in fractal geometry: a one dimensional object twists back on itself to fill up two dimensions. The curve is loosely represented in the piece in several ways. In the first main section of the piece, the two instruments tend to fill up their respective pitch-spaces and rhythm-spaces. A tonality will begin to emerge, but one or both of the instruments will quickly spiral away. Also in this section there is general disagreement between the two players as to what kind of music they should play: long expressive phrases, or quick bursts of energy.

In the second section, the two players decide to cooperate more on matters of form and style. Tonalities foreshadowed in the previous section become concrete. We examine material here at different scales, and find that the closer we look, the more detail emerges. The violin part is played on an electric violin, which is amplified and undergoes some signal processing.

The piece was written for vilionist Scott St. John for his Millennium concert series. Scott performed the premiere, along with James Sommerville, horn, at the Glenn Gould Studio in CBC's Broadcasting Centre in Toronto. That performance was later broadcast on CBC Stereo's The Arts Tonight.

Duration = c. 11 minutes.