Symphony #3

for chorus, orchestra and 9 conductors

Some people have written that my Symphony #3 is "extremely complex" to perform because it requires 9 conductors. This is an absolutely wrong approach. Usage of new means is justified if it leads to new artistic results. A listener does not care how many rehearsals were necessary.

You may listen to Symphony #3 and look at the score. You'll see that all tempo correlations are precise. Orchestral synchronous music is performable. Some conductors are daunted by the "difficulties" because they feel comfortable only when an orchestra is playing in unison by quarter notes. There is always one principal conductor. Leaders of orchestral groups have existed in symphony orchestras for centuries now. In synchronous music, they will often function as "sub-conductors" of ensembles playing in different tempi. Different tempo is but one of many musical means to emphasize differences of simultaneously sounding compositions. The principal conductor's task is to show entrances, balances and shape the musical form. It is possible to play the entire texture a little faster or slower than indicated in my score. The number of strokes per minute is less important than correlations between different tempi.

There are many composers who have written polytempo music in the past: They notated it differently. Polytempo was treated like a texture. In my case polytempo is an integral part of synchronous music - a new style which demonstrates a new method of organization of musical material. It applies to all elements of musical language and establishes a new tradition to compose, perform and listen. "Synchronous music" is a term which I invented about 30 years ago. Google it today and see how widespread it has become.

You may ask: "Is there any limit to the number of compositions that may be heard at the same time?" I would answer: "Yes. It is determined by the limit of our perception. Any detail, which cannot be distinguished and perceived is defective and demonstrates a lack of the composer's professionalism". Many would ask "How can I perceive this complex music?" I would answer, that you do not need any help. Otherwise synchronous music would not survive.

No one can focus their attention on more than one thing at the same time. Always our perception follows only one major layer of musical texture. If the prioritized material switches from one layer to another our attention follows this change. So while listening to synchronous music your perception will bounce between different compositions sounding at the same time and this shifting will evoke remarkable emotions and experiences. The same way you listen to fugues - your attention switches from one entrance of a theme to another. We unconsciously track these musical events. The 'tracking list' is remarkably rich and long in works written in the synchronous music style. Time and information are compressed.

I individualized the different works which make up the texture of Symphony No. 3 by different tempi, timbres, forms, often styles and used eight extra sub-conductors to lead the choir, different ensembles and groups inside the orchestra.

Synchronous music is perfect to portray the versatile, polyphonic nature of the modern world. To create an all-embracing view is the fundamental idea of every composer writing symphonies.