Chorale Book is a collection of short works for a small organ without pedal, or a piano. It takes as a starting point Musica Enchiriadis, a music treatise from 9th century, and combines modified organum and discantus techniques to create simple five part chorale-like textures in attempt to create a new moment in a distant past of an alternative music history. Strict rules of voice-leading make the process of writing these pieces a small ritual in itself. The collection seeks to create new meditative sound spaces for our time and the future.
I wrote the first nine pieces in the period of ten years between 1995 and 2005. I added the last three in 2019. Pieces nr 10 and 11 are based on Faroese folk melodies, and piece nr 12 is based on a hymn from Musica Enchiriadis. In concert you can choose to play an individual piece, to present a selection of them or to play all of them one after another for an evening-length concert. While when performing individual pieces or short selections it is best to play the score as written, keeping to the ascetic spirit of the work, some amount of embellishment and variation is necessary if the entire collection is to be played in one concert.
The possibilities are:
1) Adding a livelier improvisation between two pieces. Improvisation could also be based on one of the top lines from the piece that is about to be played.
2) In some pieces, left or right hand or both could play a lively ostinato throughout, instead of plain whole notes.
3) Each piece should have a different, contrasting registration, ranging from delicate, quiet sound all the way to organo pleno.