Patrick Ozzard-Low (b. 1958) is a British composer and pianist. He studied composition with Jean Barraqué's English protegé Bill Hopkins from 1979 to 1981, and piano with Kathleene Chappelle; his musical works have been performed in a number of festivals in the UK. As the director of Alternative Tuning Projects, in association with London Guildhall University, he has recently completed a large-scale study entitled 21st Century Orchestral Instruments - acoustic instruments for alternative tuning systems, (sponsored by the Arts Council of England). In an age where electronics are fast outpacing acoustic instruments, this study shows how it may be possible to revolutionise the technology of the classical instrumentarium. Patrick Ozzard-Low is a Churchill Fellow for 1998, and from October to December is undertaking a lecture tour of the USA, Brazil, France, Switzerland, Germany and Holland with the purpose of researching the most up-to-date developments in instrument technology, and establishing an international network of relevant institutions, instrument makers, composers, performers and acousticians, interested in collaborating on this project. As result of this work a Centre for New Musical Instruments, based at London Guildhall University, has been proposed.
Precis: (Title:) 21st Century Orchestral Instruments acoustic instruments for alternative tuning systems. Many composers, performers and listeners today remain passionate about purely acoustic instruments. However, electronic developments surge ahead, it is commonly thought that little can be done to improve on existing models of mainstream orchestral instruments, in which instrument makers over the centuries have achieved great refinement. Since the mid 19th Century, no fundamentally new instrumental designs (excepting a few percussion instruments), and few radical instrumental adaptations, have been adopted by the classical orchestra.
Drawing upon alternative approaches in instrument technology, acoustics and tuning theory, and with an emphasis on the implications of alternative tuning systems, (ATS) for new acoustic instruments, the paper focuses on the advantages of creating 21st Century versions, of existing orchestral instruments. The purpose of this is not to replace existing instruments, but to extend the mainstream acoustic instrumentarium to reflect and stimulate new musical directions. There would be great value in achieving this in parallel with the evolution of digital and electroacoustics, yet a new collaborative framework and resources are necessary if radical developments of mainstream acoustic instruments are to be attained.
The talk will be in two parts: a discussion of the general relevance
of ATS in contemporary music, and descriptions of existing and speculative
alternative acoustic instrument designs. Anyone wishing to familiarise
themselves with this material in advance may wish to visit: http:\\www.c21-orch-instrs.demon.co.uk