Keren. Duration: 6′. Composition dates: Publisher: Salabert, EAS Effectif: Pour trombone. Creation: Le , Festival Musica Strasbourg. The Trombone community on Reddit. Reddit gives you the best of the internet in one place. Xenakis: Keren for Trombone Solo. By Iannis Xenakis More by Iannis Xenakis. Persepolis · Xenakis: Iannis Xenakis: Nuits (Arr. for Guitar) · More Iannis.
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As part of his very personal musical vocabulary, Iannis Xenakis has taken a special interest in exploring the various possibilities of the glissando. The composer has written a series of works for solo string instruments–which are especially well-suited to producing the effect–that explores the nuances of sliding sounds.
Keren, for trombone
It seems natural, then, that Xenakis’ only work for a solo wind or brass instrument is written for the trombone, for which the glissando is a particularly idomatic effect. Keren, however, is not merely a study in glissandi.
While they iannnis a role, the work is more a study of contrasts, of formal fluidity, as well as an exploration of the range of color and character available from the trombone. Written in for Paris-based phenomenon Benny Sluchinthe work, whose title is Hebrew for “horn,” pays homage to this performer’s Israeli roots. The score employs archaic-sounding kefen calls, built on octaves rising from the trombone’s low pedal B-flat, throughout its six minutes.
Xenakis’ use of nasty snarling sounds achieved by playing and singing at the same time further evoke the martial tradition of the brass instruments. Still, the work contains a great deal of lyricism, incorporating modal melodies that echo the music of exotic locales. Keren is further characterized by fast, ostinato-like material in which melodic patterns built around three or four notes are repeated over and over, often with varied reorderings of the notes.
As with most of Xenakis’ music, the degree of virtuosity and stamina required to perform this work is enormous.
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