Lee Scott Newcombe will present a one day performance at MOCA London using his unique
sculptural musical instrument called ‘the diapason’. He will perform his new composition Empherion at
2.30pm and a continuation of it at 3.30 pm on the 17th December. In between the live performance
visitors are invited to explore and play with the instrument themselves.
Newcombe suggests this is a chance for the audience to experience strange and unfamiliar harmonic
combinations through relaxed and playfully interactive encounters. He intends to sonically connect
the visitors creating “a grand swelling burst of harmony.”
Taking a modular approach to instrument construction, all pitch-objects can be relocated from work-
to-work. The configuration of an instrument is dictated by the work to be presented. The diapason
incorporates fifty-four musical glasses. At this event, the four manuals of the diapason are positioned
side-by-side with the glasses arranged in an interval sequence of fourths.
The arrangement is necessitated by the demands of Empherion. Unlike conventional instruments,
having a chromatic layout would prove impractical for the performers as body parts would block
access to pitch-objects. When writing for the diapason you must consider the choreography of
The sonic clarity of distinct objects fused with the delicate timbre of sustained glass, dissolves
boundaries between consonance and dissonance, enriching a state of indeterminacy through the
interactions of the shifting densities of clustered pitch.
“Empherion offers time and space to alleviate our ever-growing crisis of temporal fragmentation, asking
visitors to pause in precious contemplation to reclaim notions of duration and vastness."
Newcombe’s performers called eNSembLe include Freda D’Souza, Boaz Johnson, Olek Nixon, and
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