One Day in Bitola Details

‘One Day in Bitola’ (2016)

for orchestra

2 fl (2nd fl doubling picc), 2 ob, 2 Bb Cl, 2 bassoons, 4 F hns, 2 Bb tpts, 3 tbns (2 Tenors, 1 Bass), 1 tba,

Timp   32” and 30”   29” and 28”     “26” and 25”

Perc, Orch snare drum, China cym or Crash cym, tom-tom (low), Tblr Bells, 2 ride cym tom-tom (low mid) tom-tom (high mid), tom-tom (high), hi-hat cym, floor-tom, bass drum, Clash cym

1 Harp

14 vlns 1, 12 vlns 2, 8 viol, 8 cellos, 6 db.

Duration: 17.20″

Program Note

One Day in Bitola was composed in (2016) for orchestra at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City NE U.S.A between 1 – 24 November 2016. This piece is dedicated to the town of Bitola which is located in Eastern Europe in the country Macedonia. During the Turkish Ottoman rule, Bitola was known as ‘Monastiri’ and as the city of consuls. The inspiration for this music is derived from audio source material that was gathered by the composer between the months of September – October 2016 during his stay in Bitola. Photographs of the city were also taken by the composer and served as additional source material. The locations that were photographed include: the river ‘Dragor,’ ‘The clock tower,’ ‘The Mosque,’ ‘The Market,’ ‘Main Street,’ ‘The Promenade,’ ‘The Park,’ and the ‘Hill Side.’ These locations were particularly chosen therefore they highlight and embody the spirit of Bitola.

The sound recordings were recorded with a ‘Zoom HN4’ audio recorder and consisted of the sounds of the city such as people talking on main street, clock chimes, singing that emanated from the mosque, car and traffic sounds, footsteps, laughter, loud chatter in the local cafés among multiple other timbres.   Some of these sounds were used as inspiration for which to build melodies while others, were used to derive the harmonic and rhythmic content for the piece. Each movement is different, however the transitions from one movement to the next were carried out deliberately so as to give the impression that the movements are interlinked on a macro level. Almost all of the movements employ changing meters, and additive time signatures that are characteristic to traditional Macedonian folk music. The main concept of One Day in Bitola was to capture a day in the city of Bitola using source sounds that were re-imagined in a musical way through the sounds of the orchestra.

Score Excerpt

© Petar Jovanov, One Day in Bitola (2016) (bars 1-9) – 1st movement – I ‘Dragorot.’

Performance History

‘One Day in Bitola’ was recorded by the Brno Philharmonic orchestra in 2017 in Brno, and released as part of the Orchestral Masters Vol.5 CD in 2018.