Damon Ferrante's *Footbridge*

The list of big 21st C. issues that Damon Ferrante has solved is impressive:

New Complexity

Dissonance & and unplayable polyrhythms are not, by themselves, complex.  Dissonant music and music with crazy rhythms *can* be complex too.  It's neither the dissonance nor the scary rhythms that make it so.

If a discreet harmonic universe is to be sustained to Brahmsian proportions the question arises, how to stay anywhere so long, without the sound going stale?

Ferrante's music answers this in various striking ways.  I can explain how, to some extent, but his means is still not entirely clear to me, but his achievement is palapable to me.

Here are a few ways he does it-->


When the time is ripe, he rips through the diatonic complement of his local diatonic region.


He's not afraid of local octaves, but each specific pitch has a clearly distinct role that defines it against other members of its pitch class.  This is seen at work to powerful effect in Footbridge.  He can stroll (Coltrane) seemingly endlessly, without letting anything get stale.  This requires keeping many registers in play, making his guitar music leap furiously around the fingerboard.   

Interval Vectors

Ferrante's surfaces show that he understands the distinction between diatonic hexachord and the diatonic septachord. The presence or absence of a tritone is handled effectively, as is the increasing of the tritone count.  This often happens in the context of the mystic chord, and yet I need to study more carefully before nailing this down.

There are phrases where the manipulation of interval vectors is palpablly operative as the impetis through the phrase, and he does it with great conviction and efficacy.