[This post is related to the recent, suprisingly popular "irrational" rhythm posts -- Part 1 & Part 2. Since (A) I can't sleep, and (B) apparently y'all love this stuff, here is the followup I promised.]
Maria Schneider runs in very different circles from the metametric/totalist crowd. Her music doesn't sound anything like Michael Gordon's (he of the infamous Trance bassline), Mikel Rouse's, John Luther Adams's, or Kyle Gann's. But I think you can see, in some of her works, an interesting example of convergent evolution. Her own approach to "feelable/performable rhythmic complexity" (which, of course, has been a part of jazz since the very beginning) is informed primarily by flamenco, and South American music, but it has led her to stretch those traditions in ways that are, in some respects at least, recognizably similar to the rhythmic techniques used by the above-listed metameric composers.
Let's take a look at Maria's Bluería, Soleá y Rumba from her 2004 release Concert In The Garden -- specifically, the initial bulería section. The bulería is a 12-beat flamenco rhtyhm. It comes in a couple of varieties, but the version we're interested in is the one with accents on beats 3, 7, 8, 10 and 12:
Note that the pattern begins on beat 12, and beat 1 is a weak beat. If you're not versed in flamenco (and/or if you're a white kid from suburbia, like me), you'd probably hear the bulería pattern like this instead:
Since Maria isn't trying to write authentic, traditional flamenco, but instead to use bulería as a jumping-off point for her own personal expression, she opts to use the shifted form above (which, as you will see later, makes her subsequent rhythmic twists and turns much easier to read). When you look at the shifted bulería rhythm above, you can see it implies a 6/8 + 3/4 feel — which is, of course, also ubiquitous in a whole range of South American music:
The first thing Maria does is to subdivide the "6/8" portion of the bar into four parts instead of two parts -- which, if we go back to the 12/8 notation, looks like this:
Does that combination of dotted eighth notes and non-dotted quarter notes in 12/8 remind you of anything?
No, it's not "irrational" like the Michael Gordon bassline -- if you wrote it out in 4/4, you wouldn't have incomplete triplets -- but the rhythmic profile is similar.
Anyway, in her score, Maria chooses to augment the bulería rhythm, doubling all the rhythmic values — again, out of notational convenience:
This makes it possible for her to notate the entire bulería section without resorting to any sixteenth-note subdivisions. But you can see that the underlying pattern remains the same, only instead of 6/8 + 3/4, it's now 12/8 + 3/2.
Here's the initial theme -- check out how it sometimes reinforces and sometimes pushes against the 12/8 + 3/2 bulería foundation:
(I took the liberty of making some slight alterations to the beaming patterns in the original notation, in order to make the 12/8 + 3/2 pattern explicit.)
Here's the audio of the above, from the original recording:
MP3: Bulería, Soleá y Rumba, Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra (excerpt) -- click to listen, right-click/control-click to download
A bit later on, Maria introduces triplets, a new rhythmic element that creates 3-against-4 and 6-against-4 relationships to the bulería pattern:
She also frequently uses this rhythm, a string of quarter notes starting on the second eighth of the bar:
There's also an incredibly striking moment beginning in m.19, where the 12/8+ 3/2 pattern is temporarily suspended in favor of an eight-quarter-eighth sequence, whose binary profile strongly implies a superimposed 2/2:
These are a lot of different, non-obvious ways of carving up the 12/8 bar! But even so, we have only just barely begun to scratch the surface.
For instance, I like what happens when you play the bulería pattern followed by its retrograde (in other words, play it forwards, then backwards):
Or, in classic metametric fashion, you could mess around with multiple simultaneous juxtapositions:
Finally, if you're interested in acquiring the score to Bluería, Soleá y Rumba -- which trust me, rewards close study -- you can buy it from Maria's site.