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Dolores Catherino

Anchorage, AK      

Dolores Catherino is a polychromatic composer and multi-instrumentalist. Her avant-garde compositions use sonic ‘pitch-palettes’ of 106 and 72 EDO (equal divisions of the octave) and are performed on visionary 21st century keyboard instruments. 

As a musician, she is focused on exploring new musical possibilities within a polychromatic system which simplifies and unifies our rapidly multiplying microtonal pitch-scale methods of notation. In distinction to Spectral systems which are focused on aspects of tone color (timbre), Polychromatic concepts are focused on ‘pitch-color’ and ‘interval-color’ and are also intended to simplify the exploration of aesthetic and scientific possibilities in the practice of associative synesthetic awareness: learned associations and conceptual/perceptual integration of audible pitch with visual color.  With an undergraduate study in music and graduate study in medicine, she hopes to explore and develop integrated perspectives between the sound arts and sciences.

She presented a TEDx Sacramento talk and performance on Polychromatic Music in 2016. In 2018, she was awarded a Rasmuson Foundation Artist Fellowship in Music Composition.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/dolomuse

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dolomuse/ 

Podcast: http://nowandxen.libsyn.com/172-dolores-catherino

PolyChromatic Music: https://www.polychromaticmusic.com 

Bandcamp: https://dolorescatherino.bandcamp.com/ 

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/dolores-catherino 


Inflexion – a movement toward profound transformation. In a postmodern world, where emerging narratives replace the stability of a prior cultural meta-narrative, more voices are striving to be heard. An initial sense of dissonance and chaos slowly moves toward stability — within a more complex form of harmony.

When the language of cultural discourse becomes rigidly divisive, and words lose any stable meaning, music can transcend limitations of communication and become a unifying force, rooted in common awareness, experience and emotion.

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‘temporal parallax’ polychromatic composition

‘Temporal Parallax’ … expanding expressive dimensions in auditory spacetime.

TEMPORAL in the sense of auditory phenomena and perception.
PARALLAX – a difference in aural ‘appearance’ depending on the observer’s perceptual position (perspective shift).

Metaphorically, listen for a 3-D to 2-D aural ‘collapse’ and distinct dimensional contrast between final resolving chords.

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What is polychromatic music?

An introduction to polychromaticism as a new musical language, and an introductory comparison of 21st century electronic instruments (multidimensional polyphonic controllers) including the Tonal Plexus, Roli Seaboard, Continuum Fingerboard, and Microzone U-648, from a microtonal perspective.

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NewMusicBox Articles

Articles January 25 2018 | By Dolores Catherino
Implications of Polychromatic Music

The experience and practice of polychromatic music brings to auditory awareness new harmonic interactions and multidimensional spatial effects. Additionally, the increasing auditory perceptual discrimination developed in the practice may lead...

Articles January 18 2018 | By Dolores Catherino
Creating Music with the Polychromatic System

I needed to find an intuitive and efficient way to work with 106 notes per octave. The immensity of new musical possibilities can seem overwhelming.

Articles January 11 2018 | By Dolores Catherino
Understanding the Polychromatic System

Isolated methods of music practice are rapidly multiplying without a framework of integration and orientation for musicians and listeners to grasp. The polychromatic system is one framework of integration for...

See more of Dolores Catherino's articles on NewMusicBox.