Godfried-Willem Raes

Cuties for Qt: part1 and 2:

'Qtree' & 'Anafest'

for <Qt> solo: a robotic quartertone organ


These are short and pure algorithmic compositions written for the newly finished quartertone organ <Qt> in 2007 and 2008. Together with 'Wouwel' they were commissioned as a cycle by Muzikon, the concert organisation of the Ghent Conservatory. They were conceived as demonstrations of some of the features of the <Qt> robot and hence, make full use ot its unlimited polyphony and its very precize tuning in equal temperament quartertones. The first piece in the cycle, 'Qtree', (2'10") demonstrates merely the different kinds of thirth based triads one can encounter in a quartertone system. They are played as shepard chords, which explains their very massive sound. This piece was performed at the occasion of the opening of the academic year at our Ghent College-university.

The second piece (4'30") is an experimental extension of the Helmholtz theory on consonance and dissonance, extended to the quartertone system, as such unknown to Helmholtz. To compose this piece, we extended our <GMT> composition language with functions implementing Helmholtz based harmony. It was entitled Akafest, because we originaly wanted it to be usefull as an academic ouverture at our university. Hence the climbing figures and the lively gesture. Other than that, it constitutes objective music. Something we always seem to strive at.

The fact that 'Qtree' rather than 'Akafest' was performed at the opening of the academic year, was mostly inspired by the fear of our director (Jan Rispens) for <Qt> sounding too soft and, maybe not capable of filling the entire concert hall.

Part 3 of this cycle is called 'Wouwel'.


Premiere: february 7th of march 2008: New Music week at the Conservatory in Ghent.

Some other performances:

11.01.2012: 'Akafest', Logos Tetrahedron Ghent.

22.08.2013: 'Cuties of Qt', (complete performance) Logos Tetrahedron Ghent

13.08.2015:'Akafest', Logos Tetrahedron Ghent.


Godfried-Willem RAES
Public Domain, may 2008

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P.S.: Voor uitvoeringen noch reprodukties van dit stuk moeten noch mogen auteursrechten worden betaald. Elke poging tot inning van auteursrechten, door welke instantie ook, naar aanleiding van publieke uitvoeringen van dit stuk kan gerechterlijk als poging tot afpersing worden vervolgd.


Technical note:

The executable for the 'Akafest' piece is comprised in m_robots.exe. In the menu, Qt robot has to be selected with the appropriate midi output ports. The piece starts on activation of the 'Akafest' task in the GMT cockpit. The only user interaction is the optional addition of melodic ornaments by activation of the 'slierten' task in the cockpit. For the 'Qtree' piece, the edited midi file should be used for performance.