Cloud of Unknowing Program Note

Cloud of Unknowing uses a basic concept of motion from dissonance to consonance as the basis for its formal development. Using the nearest quarter-tone approximations for partials, the overtone series at B an octave below middle-C (123.47 Hertz) is used for the harmonic pitch content, and the spectral content of a metallic cowbell sample is the framework for the inharmonic content. The work uses a series of articulation, dynamic, and stylistic cycles to move from dissonant to consonant materials. The title refers to an ancient, anonymous text of Christian Mysticism written in the second half of the fourteenth century.

Performance by Ben Robison: