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Flicker Ensemble | Kenneth Newby: Spectral (Golden) Lyric

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Kenneth Newby: Spectral (Golden) Lyric

by Flicker Ensemble

Wondrous strange—new music for a brave new world—classical elegance and sophistication with tinges of the "air from another planet".
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Spectral (Golden) Lyric: First Pathetan
1:15 $0.99
2. For Rosa: I. Life
3:46 $0.99
3. For Rosa: II. Work
2:40 $0.99
4. For Rosa: III. Epicycles
3:45 $0.99
5. For Rosa: IV. Dance
2:55 $0.99
6. Spectral (Golden) Lyric: Second Pathetan
1:50 $0.99
7. Strange Attraction
11:49 $0.99
8. Spectral (Golden) Lyric: Third Pathetan
2:13 $0.99
9. Sprites
4:13 $0.99
10. Orchid March
1:39 $0.99
11. Wisps: I. First Spectre
1:20 $0.99
12. Wisps: II. Rising Harmonic
1:17 $0.99
13. Wisps: III. Hanging I
1:56 $0.99
14. Wisps: IV. Second Spectre
1:19 $0.99
15. Wisps: V. Palaran
1:53 $0.99
16. Wisps: VI. Hanging II
1:06 $0.99
17. Wisps: VII. Third Spectre
2:49 $0.99
18. Wisps: VIII. Plume
0:56 $0.99
19. Spectral (Golden) Lyric: Fourth Pathetan
3:40 $0.99
20. Toccata and Imbal
6:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
spectral (golden) lyric

The third volume of the Emergence Trilogy, spectral (golden) lyric sees a return to the more subtle and nuanced forces of the string quartet balanced with a chamber ensemble and solo piano.

Notes on the compositions, ensembles and instruments.

Spectral, Golden, Lyric

The scales and tuning of several of the compositions here are drawn from the harmonic series, hence spectral. The metric structure of some of the pieces is based on proportions taken from the Fibonacci series (1 1 2 3 5 8…), hence golden. Lyric is used both as an article of faith in the melodic coherence of the music and with a tip of the philosophical cap to Jan Zwicky and her welcome reminder of the role of resonance and ontological depth in the way we apprehend the world and make meaning with it.

The Four Pathetan

In Javanese Karawitan a Pathetan is a brief musical performance that might be thought of as expressing something of the essence of the music. Pathetan are played at the boundaries of performances of larger compositions. In this it might be considered a kind khôra, the matrix or womb of the music. As used here the four pathetan function akin to a search for form with the fourth and final one finding a definitive answer to that quest.

Strange Attraction (for Aleksandra Dulic)

I feel the air of another planet.
The friendly faces that were turned toward me
but lately, now are fading into darkness

The trees and paths I knew and loved so well
are barely visible, and you
Beloved and radiant spectre—cause of all my anguish—

You are wholly dimmed within a deeper glow,
whence, now that strife and tumult cease, there
comes the soothing tremor of a sacred awe.

I am dissolved in swirling sound, am weaving
unfathomed thanks with unnamed praise, and
wishless I yield myself into the mighty breath.

— lines from Entrückung (Transport), by Stefan George, translated by Carl Engel

Toccata and Imbal

Imbal is a technique in Javanese gamelan music in which two players perform interlocking patterns to create dazzling sheets of sonic arabesques, not unlike techniques used in toccatas of the past.

Notes for the Emergence Trilogy:

The Glass Bead Game

It was perhaps only natural that he should have constructed a frame, modelled on a child’s abacus, a frame with several dozen wires on which could be strung glass beads of various sizes, shapes, and colours. The wires corresponded to the lines of the musical staff, the beads to the time-values of the notes, and so on. In this way he could represent with beads musical quotations or invented themes, could alter, transpose, and develop them, change them and set them in counterpoint to one another. In technical terms this was a mere plaything.

A characteristic feature in the Game's history was that it was constantly preferred, used, and further elaborated by whatever branch of learning happened to be experiencing a period of high development or a renaissance. The mathematicians brought the Game to a high degree of flexibility and capacity for sublimation, so that it began to acquire something approaching a consciousness of itself and its possibilities. This process paralleled the general evolution of cultural consciousness.

It represented a symbolic form of seeking for perfection, a sublime alchemy, an approach to that Mind which beyond all images and multiplicities is one within itself -- the symbols and formulas of the Glass Bead Game combined structurally, musically, and philosophically within the framework of a universal language, were nourished by all the sciences and arts, and strove in play to achieve perfection, pure being, the fullness of reality. Thus, "realizing" was a favourite expression among the players. They considered their Games a path from Becoming to Being, from potentiality to reality.

Magister Ludi—The Glass Bead Game - Hermann Hesse


Recursive enumeration is a process in which new things emerge from old things by fixed rules. . . . It might seem that recursively defined sequences of that type possess some sort of inherently increasing complexity of behaviour, so that the further out you go, the less predictable they get. This kind of thought carried a little further suggests that suitably complicated recursive systems might be strong enough to break out of any predetermined patterns. And isn't this one of the defining properties of intelligence?

Gödel, Escher, Bach An Eternal Golden Braid - D. R. Hofstadter

It’s the future. It’s the future for music. It’s the future for performing music. It’s the future for writing music. It’s the future for listening to music. All of our futures in music are involved with recording. It’s as simple as that, and as complicated as that.”

Glenn Gould

Bandmate to Frank: “Frank!… where did you learn all this stuff?”

Zappa: “Oh… I went to the library.”


Many thanks to Martin Gotfrit for offering support at the crucial moment for the work to be brought to fruition. “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Appreciation is also given to Baba Shankar Barua for his support over the years in providing a playground and meeting place in India for sharing the work as it evolved in a dynamic and supportive community of creatives.

Jeannette Angel who was there at the moment the calyx first revealed its wonders.

Aleksandra Dulic who gave me the garret in which the work has taken its final bloom.

Antonin Artaud Claude Debussy George E. Lewis Pauline Oliveros
Bela Bartok Pak I Made Gerindem Gyorgy Ligeti Maurice Ravel
The Beatles Glenn Gould George Martin Rahayu Suppangah
Leonard Bernstein Keith Jarrett Charles Mingus Pak Wasitodiningrat
John Coltrane Susanne K. Langer Marvin Minsky Anton Webern
Ram Dass Otto Laske Per Norgard Frank Zappa

For Ashlan, Tara, and River.



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