The form of both freeHorn and ii-v-i consists of a continuous modulation between three different harmonic series. freeHorn weaves together the live interaction of acoustic instruments and computer software written by Larry Polansky and Phil Burk. ii-v-i, a reverberant cloud of moving intonation, gradually drifts from one natural harmonic series to another. Only open strings, 2nd, 3rd and 4th harmonics, and notes stopped at the 7th and 12th frets are used, and the guitars are audibly re-tuned from one “section” to another—each section having a new fundamental and a new tuning.
Minmaj is Polansky’s unique arrangement/“translation” for two electric guitars of Carl Ruggles’s 1921 work for muted brass, Angels. (It is the first movement of Polansky’s 3 Translations for Electric Guitar.)
“The art of working with little (in terms of material and structure) to produce a lot (emotionally) is the basis of the compositions of the eclectic American composer Larry Polansky that are contained on this beautiful new Cold Blue release. This is demonstrated in the piece for two guitars playing continuous modulations between three different harmonic series. The effect is hypnotic and enveloping, with the electric guitars weaving a whispered dialogue that unfolds with apparent freedom, yet without ever deviating from a shared thematic core. An analogous composing principle is at the center of the 20-minute piece entitled freeHorn, which has a rich and unusual instrumentation—including sax, horn, trumpet, piano, electric guitar, and strings. Its slow flow of floating sounds, ethereal arpeggios, and melodic fragments, creates an emotional mood that swings between sweetness and anxiety. It has a sort of refined ‘dark ambience’ that is, from time to time, illuminated by shadows of bright beauty and, in its evocative atmosphere, not far from certain works by Ingram Marshall.” — Filippo Focosi, Kathodik (Italy)