Chipsy has been referred to as a "preternaturally talented keyboard player", with a unique style consisting of blasts of tone clusters
deployed by alternately punching, slapping and karate-chopping his keyboard.
Finally, linking the warm-ups directly to the repertoire by "tuning up" in the key to be sung, (or singing tone clusters
if one is singing contemporary music, for example) is a helpful way to sequence the rehearsal so that the warm-ups lead seamlessly to the repertoire for rehearsal.
Essentially atonal, it makes use of spoken text (drawn from Nietzsche and Heiner Miiller) and chorus on prerecorded tape, dense tone clusters
, an orchestra of winds, percussion and harp, with extra percussion instruments played on stage by the cast, and expressive vocal lines which rarely ask the 26 solo singers to do anything other than sing beautifully.
The song ends with a short piano postlude that briefly illustrates (with tone clusters
), the "inky black and awkward marks" that humans want to make on blank white paper, which then leads to a final soft and whimsical rolled chord.
The tone clusters
which built up here were, again, spine-tingling and quite beautiful.
The piano part in the first movement contains passages of tone clusters
(all notated in accidentals) in eighth notes, as well as chromatic sixteenth-note passages in extremely demanding patterns.
Here the connection between the music and the drawings crystallized; weblike parabolic mutations mirrored the swoops and soars of massed tone clusters
, stacks of vertical lines paralleled jagged bursts of seeming white noise, and a series of a mountainous peaks was transmitted as a low drone with sirenlike glissandi arcing overhead.
Prominent composers also have a brief biographical sketch with particular compositional techniques for which they might be known, for example Ligeti is known for tone clusters
164-166), Schneider describes the material as a "stormy, octatonically inflected G minor" in the orchestra, while the piano "pounds out dissonant tone clusters
." But G minor simply doesn't exist here (a G-A-B[??]-C tetrachord is embedded in the octatonic scale being used, but D, the dominant of G, never appears); the orchestral writing is purely octatonic.
His music, which covered a wide range of styles, was compared by some critics to marching band hymns or to the disconnected tone clusters
of avant-garde music.
It builds into these gorgeous tone clusters
. It has wonderful poetry.
Trombones blasted from the audience, cow bells formed links between pieces and MacGregor used wooden blocks to play tone clusters
on the piano.