("1898 New Zealand stamp 8 pence blue" by The Crown)
« Octoccata » is an instrumental suite clocking in at a little over 16 minutes. The title comes from the combination of octatonic and toccata, and is inspired by Emerson, Lake & Palmer‘s adaptation of the fourth movement of Alberto Ginastera‘s first piano concerto, which they published on their « Brain Salad Surgery » album under the title « Toccata. »
The intent here is simply to « make some noise. » In other words, the music is meant to be spectacular and bombastic, and hopefully the intensive use of octatonic scales will warrant some originality to the whole and contribute to convey an overall feeling of amazement to the listener, but contrary to most pieces of Poligraf's repertoire, there is no narrative around which the music has been assembled.
From the title came the idea of loosely turning the piece into a « symphony of eights, » so the suite comprises eight movements, named as follows :
The composition opens with « Octoverture » which is basically a series of variations built around a recurring motif and over which the instrumentalists take the lead role in various combinations. The whole section is not in 8/8 but in 7/4, not to provide the exception that breaks the rule, but simply because that's how the motif came out, and it sounded good as such.
While the music wasn't built around it, a narrative finally came into existence when I considered how to best present the piece. From the word « octatonic » stood out the word « tonic, » and that became the seed from which stemmed the idea of O·c·t·a·T·o·n·i·c, the miracle remedy to all ailments, infused with a touch of octatonine, and carefully brewed by a certain doctor Paul E. Graf, no doubt a good person enjoying an enviable reputation among his scientist peers, or maybe not...
Come gather 'round all good people
I have come here to illustrate
Doctor Graf's brand new formula
It is his most potent to date
For the relief to your ailments
No longer will you have to wait
Offered to you at discount rate