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If you like your compositional work long-form and fiery, there is a very good chance that Selections from 100 Models of Hegikan Roku by The Deontic Miracle will be your kind of epic. The project of Swedish minimalist composer, philosopher, poet, mathematician, and visual artist Catherine Christer Hennix, The Deontic Miracle was born from her frustrations with the limitations of Western music and an interest in Just Intonation: a tuning system that allows her to reach into the infinite.

Catherine initially formed The Deontic Miracle as a big band with a dozen local jazz musicians after returning to Sweden from New York in 1971, before eventually thinning the ensemble down to a trio: herself, her brother Peter, and Hans Isgren. In 1976, they staged their first and only public performance as part of Brouwer’s Lattice at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. With Catherine on amplified Renaissance obe, live electronics, and sine wine generators, her brother on amplified Renaissance oboe, and Isgren on amplified sarangi, they performed several of her original compositions, as well as works from her peers La Monte Young, Terry Riley, and Terry Jennings.

Recordings of two of those original pieces, ‘Music of Auspicious Clouds’ and ‘Waves of the Blue Sea’ (both clocking in at over 40 minutes each!) make up the entirety of Selections from 100 Models of Hegikan Roku. Sprawling, and in a sonic sense, somewhat cartographical, both pieces map out sound on an expansive, perception-altering scale, taking cues from the scorching heat of late-period John Coltrane, and the endless mid 60s avant-garde experiments of The Theater of Eternal Music; which of course, included many composers Catherine shared ideas with while in The Big Apple. Following on from 2018’s Selected Early Keyboard Works and the 2010 reissue of The Electric Harpsichord (a brain massage turned cult classic, also from 1976), Selections from 100 Models of Hegikan Roku represents another important step towards securing her well-deserved spot within the history books. Essential listening! 

If you’d like to learn more about her, you can read a couple of interviews here and here.

Selections from 100 Models of Hegikan Roku is out 19 July through Blank Forms Editions / Empty Editions in 2xLP and digital formats (pre-order here)

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