Carlotta Ferrari (b. 1975) — Introduzione e passacaglia RPS (2016) for organ
"Introduzione e passacaglia RPS" (2016) is dedicated to Carson Cooman and was composed in celebration of the completion of the building renovation and renewal project at Harvard University’s Memorial Church. The piece is one of a number of works by Ferrari to employ the “Restarting Pitch Space” system of modal harmony, originally developed by Carson Cooman. The piece shows two different approaches to the use of the RPS modal material. The music begins with a dramatic and dissonant introduction, employing the harmonies as “false relations writ large.” An extended (largely organo pleno) passacaglia follows and forms the body of the piece. Because of the RPS harmonic series, the ground bass receives many different modal inflections as it travels through different registers throughout the piece. In the passacaglia, the RPS mode is exploited for its consonant properties, with continual shifts of harmonic color.
Carlotta Ferrari (b. 1975) is an Italian composer. Educated at the Conservatory in Milan, she has composed in many genres, developing a personal language that is concerned with the blend of past and present. Her compositions have been performed frequently around the world. Ferrari’s music appears on several CD recordings, including five all-Ferrari organ CDs: three recorded by Carson Cooman (2014/16) and two by Peter Clark (2015/16). She served as chair of music composition at Hebei Normal University in Shijiazhuang, China and is currently professor of music composition at the European School of Economics in Florence, Italy.