Godfried-Willem Raes

Cuties for Qt: part 3:


for <Qt> solo: the robotic quartertone organ


This is a pure algorithmic composition with a duration of 5'24" written for the newly finished quartertone organ <Qt> in 2007. It was written as a demonstration of some of the features of the <Qt> robot and hence, makes full use ot its unlimited polyphony and its very precize tuning in equal temperament quartertones. The piece is in 12 autonomous voices and starts with random distributions of pitches covering the entire <Qt> ambitus. Gradualy the distributions gain orientation towards complex spectral models of real very thick strings with physical properties changing over time. The polymetric structure, in nature based on irrational metric proportions, is entirely derived from the pitch organisation of the material and its composed changes over time. The composition makes use of the possibilities to modulate the wind pressure in the windchests of the organ.

A MP3 encoded recording of the composition is available by clicking the link below (ca. 10MByte)


In order to document the stream of midi commands sent to <Qt> to play this composition, we will also make the midi file available on this site. However: playing this file on your midi gear will not produce the piece at all! Note that the second track is used to control the quartertones, so all these pitches should sound a quartertone higher. Note also that the lights are mapped on notes: thus notes 35 and all above 108 are not long sustained notes as they would sound from your midi gear, but in fact no sounds at all. Controller 8 also, is used only for the lights and has no audible effect. It's merely a light dimmer control.

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

This piece is part 3 of a cycle of pieces for <Qt> commisioned by Muzikon with the support of the Flemish Government. The other parts of the cycle -they can be performed as separate pieces as well as in any order- are 'Qtree' and 'Akafest'.

Godfried-Willem RAES
Public Domain, may 2007

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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 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 'wouwel' task in the GMT cockpit. There is no user interaction in this piece.