Temet is a dialect word for “almost.”  The octave, and even more, the “almost” octave, is the most important element in Temet.  The beginning is an explosion of the six basic pitches in the piece (sounded in pure octaves) played by the harp; each pitch is associated with a number of intermediate steps – these are always “almost” octaves.  This effect is realized by tuning one harp string (the E below middle C) a quarter tone sharp.  Thus, for example, the “almost" octave F flat too sharp E flat/D sharp can be created.  The exposition is a labouriously winding path from one pure octave to the next by way of a number of “almost” octaves.  In a kind of development, the basic pitches plus rhythms are then added, creating all kinds of smaller polyrhythmic networks.  The piece ends with a choral-like passage.  The chords composing this passage are again constructed from the pieces basic pitches, always arranged around octaves.  In fact, the chords are actually sloppily played octaves.

Guus Janssen NL

The music of Guus Janssen (b. 1951) is difficult to categorize. It can be a composed improvisation (Brake for solo piano) or an improvised composition (parts from his Violin Concerto or his opera Noach). Music is like life itself – sometimes it asks for fast decisions and sometimes it needs to be thought over a lot.As a pianist and harpsichordist Janssen performed in various groupings with musicians from John Zorn to Gidon Kremer; since the early 1980’s he has led his own ensembles, ranging from piano trios to an 11-piece band and opera orchestra. His compositions range from piano music and string quartet to symphonic work; they have been widely played by  prominent Dutch and international orchestras and ensembles. Two of his operas have been premiered by the Dutch Opera.

For more information about Guus Janssen, click here.

Guus Janssen