Carlo Diaz | composer

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In this piece, I use the natural horn to facilitate full exploration of the harmonic and timbral potential of a single length of blown brass tubing.

Because the natural horn must remain within a single fundamental, I exploit timbral anomalies and natural harmonics in place of tonal harmony and melody. The circular presentation further emphasizes this timbral complexity by utilizing the directionality that is such a prominent feature of the instrument. I understand in this piece that the natural horn is a version of horn with a broader possible variety of color than the standard valved instrument. The brightness and unpredictability of the natural horn's timbre is a more nuanced environment for the pinched and squealed tone in this piece, and the dirtier character of its articulations intensifies the more active textures.

Plain(horn) is an exercise in reducing an instrument to its most barren form. It is a collection of sounds a horn inevitably makes—whether you want them or not—and my attempt at a portrait of the horn itself.

This recording is from a performance by Daniel Brottman & Russell Rybicki at Northwestern University.