("Label from a bottle of O·c·t·a·T·o·n·i·c" by Christopher Stewart, using a picture of William Henry Fox Talbot by Antoine Claudet)



The eighth and final movement of « Octoccata » is entitled « Multilethalead » and starts on a ostinato-based progression that slowly morphs into a relentless string of offbeat melodies harmonized by an increasing number of voices, building up to a climactic reprise of the « Lethal Lead » theme introduced in the fourth movement.


The « Multi » part of the section's title comes from the markers identifying some of its passages, namely « Trilead, » « Quadlead, » and « Pentapercular, » that latter tag signaling the moment when the percussions forego their timekeeping role in order to join the other instruments in the joyous fun of underpinning the melody.


As you surely have noticed, at the top of the present post is proudly standing the digital reproduction of a mint condition label coming from an authentic bottle of O·c·t·a·T·o·n·i·c that our indefatigable team of assistants has dug up from the archives. Know that the good people working for the Poligrafic Industries will spare no expense in the aim of upholding our commitment to provide you with the most thorough experience possible.


That being said, let me relinquish the pulpit to give our heroic hawker one last opportunity to reach you through his unmatched delivery, and to hopefully close a few lucrative distribution deals...


O·c·t·a·T·o·n·i·c cures all ailments
So act quick before it's too late
There are no wiser investments
Take advantage of our rebate
In cash now please make your payments
Get your bottle while there's still freight
Or in eight easy installments
And we will ship you a full crate


And with that last octameter rhyming with eight ends this hopefully enjoyable series of posts dedicated to « Octoccata. » Please stay tuned for more unique poligrafic goodness coming soon to a blog near you !


« Octoccata » is an instrumental suite clocking in at a little over 16 minutes. The title comes from the combination of octatonic and toccata, and is inspired by Emerson, Lake & Palmer‘s adaptation of the fourth movement of Alberto Ginastera‘s first piano concerto, which they published on their « Brain Salad Surgery » album under the title « Toccata. »


The original intent behind this composition featuring intensive use of octatonic scales was simply to « make some noise. » While the music wasn't built around it, a narrative finally came into existence when I considered how to best present the piece. From the word « octatonic » stood out the word « tonic, » and that became the seed from which stemmed the idea of O·c·t·a·T·o·n·i·c, the miracle remedy to all ailments, infused with a touch of octatonine, and carefully brewed by a certain doctor Paul E. Graf, no doubt a good person enjoying an enviable reputation among his scientist peers, or maybe not...

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