Omniscient Voices


Duane Pitre returns to Important Records with Omniscient Voices, an articulate, intense and emotionally resonant set of five pieces for justly tuned piano and electronics. Omniscient Voices is a uniquely distinct work that follows Pitre's trilogy of releases which culminated with 2015's Bayou Electric (IMPREC 421CD/LP) and included the critically acclaimed Feel Free (2012) and Bridges (IMPREC 390CD/LP, 2013) albums. Where those albums were rooted in long form pieces, Omniscient Voices is a collection of shorter pieces, offering more harmonic variety than previous works, with a unique sound and feel that is still unmistakably the work of Duane Pitre. In 2019, after a five-year period where Pitre did not focus on outward facing music, but instead on his own personal practice, a small idea in the form of a question came to him: would the combination of his latest computer -- and electronic-based experiments, used in conjunction with justly tuned piano, produce interesting results; simply put, would it "work"? Concurrently, Pitre was studying a handful of Morton Feldman scores for their focus on tonal clusters, reading a book on Arvo Pärt's life and work, and contemplating the pulse-based rhythms of Steve Reich and Phillip Glass. In 2020, with no intention of making a new album, the composer tried to answer this question. The results would spawn five pieces that would become Omniscient Voices. On this new work, Pitre finds himself giving equal priority to both piano and electronics, utilizing his Max/MSP-based generative network to real-time convert precomposed piano motifs, into data, which is then used to communicate with two polyphonic, microtonal hardware synthesizers whose patches Pitre authored; this process generates the electronic component of the album. Pitre also utilizes controlled improvisation to interact with the piano-reactive electronics in a spontaneous and inspired manner, going back and forth between these two pianistic approaches. In all, this approach creates a "musical feedback loop" of sorts. Despite Omniscient Voices being the culmination of 15 years of hard work and inspiration, this beautiful album somehow materialized in a natural, intuitive and effortless way. Mastered and cut by Golden and pressed at RTI for maximum fidelity.

Artist's statement: "When making the pieces that would become Omniscient Voices, I often viewed the piano as human action, a single note becoming a single gesture that has the potential to change the electronic environment, the electronics becoming the environment surrounding that human in the natural world, who then has the power to change their actions based on their surroundings. All actions have consequences. The interconnectedness of everything. Single actions making waves of change."