November 21, 2006

Second Call for Composer Review
by Brent Michael Davids

David Yeagley “has created a new system of harmonic organization, and presented it in a formal lecture in Israel, 1998.” Says so, right on your web site. But when you tried posting that information on Wikipedia, that claim could not hold up under the weight of verifiable fact.

So which is it? Yes, you’ve created an earthshakingly new theory of harmonic organization? Or No, you created another small entry in a long succession of attempts to make a new theory that borrows from all the previous attempts? I suspect the latter.

I admit there have been breakthroughs in music theories, when Harry Partch started writing with microtones, and had to construct his own instruments able to play them. That was new. It was new when Ben Johnston went to study with Partch, and started writing just intonation microtonal pieces for standard instruments, such as his “Amazing Grace” for string quartet. Did I mention that I was there when it premiered with Ben Johnston and the Kronos Quartet? Well I was, because I was also performing with the Kronos Quartet on a string quartet of my own on the same stage, on the same evening, on the same concert.

So how about it? Let me see your “harmonic organization” breakthrough, Mr. Yeagley, a breakthrough so bold that it has unmistakable notoriety suitable for any biographical entry. I have had students who create new systems of harmony for every piece they write, yet they do not declare these harmonic arrangements as notable.

So why is yours notable? Let’s take a good look at it, shall we? We can do this together, just send me your speech of 1998. I promise to review your new theory for all the world to see and appreciate. I can do this without you, by simply analyzing your Awakenings recording. Your publisher gave me a complimentary copy though I’ve yet to listen to it. But I could you know, and publish a critique of your theory without you. But it would be better if you engaged me on this Mr. Yeagley. So how about it?

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