("Octoccata Freeway" by Christopher Stewart based on this Interstate Shield)



« Vibrastinato, » the third movement from « Octoccata, » gets its name from the combination of vibraphone and ostinato, and features an abundance of polyrhythms.


The section begins in « Modern Poligrafic Ensemble » mode featuring Christian taking the lead role on the vibraphone. When writing the piece I imagined that, in a live setting, he would be using a MIDI controller instead of a real vibraphone in order to enable him to quickly return to the drum kit once the vibes part is done with. At this point we haven't verified if it's practicable or not, but I'm sure we'll figure out something.


The remainder of the movement is based on an exercise I used to repeat on the keyboards as a way of getting accustomed to shifting from one cross-rhythm to another.


And that being said, let's not forget the good Doctor Graf's hawker who is still attempting to convince the crowd of the innumerable powers of O·c·t·a·T·o·n·i·c, the sure-fire cure for anything and everything...


The good doctor recommends it
To all who do not feel so great
And even to those who are fit
To strengthen and invigorate
To its virtues there's no limit
All diseases it will negate
Try it and you too will admit
Mine is no overestimate


« 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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