This September, Devon Tipp attended a Microtonal Composition Masterclass and series of concerts as part of Uuden Musikiin Lokakuu (UML) in Oulu, Finland, a contemporary music festival that features new works by composers from Finland. While in attendance at the masterclass, he worked with the newly formed ensemble, MikroEnsemble that specializes in contemporary microtonal music. Tipp’s composition, On a Razor’s Edge, was premiered by the ensemble after three days of rehearsals and workshops.
Made up of world class musicians from the Sibelius Academy, the members of MikroEnsemble have collaborated closely with instrument builders to construct new musical instruments such as the quartertone accordion, quartertone piano, quartertone guitar, and quartertone clarinet. These new instruments are capable of playing highly intricate microtonal compositions, offering composers and performers vast new creative resources.
A PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh, Devon Tipp’s music draws influence from his Japanese and Eastern European roots, his experiences as a jeweler and painter, and his studies of gagaku and hogaku in Japan and the US. His compositions focus on rhythmic and timbral transmutation of cyclical materials for works ranging from the orchestral, to string basses prepared with honey stirrers, to concerti for traditional Japanese instruments. You can find out more about his work at greengiraffemusic.info.