WHAT EXACTLY IS ULTRA-ROCK?
100 years ago musical genius Henry Cowell wrote a book called “New Musical Resources” in which he accurately predicted jazz, rock and roll, synthesizers and “ultra rock”. This ultra rock (our name not his) was referred to in the book as a system of music with the 2nd interval being far more dominant than the current one, which, ‘till this day is based on a system of intervals that we call thirds or tirads. It is this 2nd interval found in the tuning of the guitar and in the chord structure of “ultra rock’ that distinguishes it from the triad structure prevalent in modern music.
Ultra rock is composed of primarily two parts. The first one being the unique detuning of the guitar from the standard E A D G B E format to primarily D G D G A D, referred to as “space cabbage”, along with various derivative tunings. The second part of ultra rock is the chord structure which is based on the major and minor triad (like standard chord structure), but replacing the seventh chord in this standard structure with a sixth chord that is typically (using key of C as an example) C6 no 5 (often found in jazz song structure).
What is significant about the guitar part of this “ultra-rock” equation is the change in the harmonic intervals and overtones from the standard guitar which are created by the detuning of the guitar strings. The chords derived from this detuning of the guitar has a much “sweeter” sound than the standard guitar. In addition, “ultra rock” introduces the 2nd interval as a major player in the song and chord structure; : the next natural progression of musical expression.
One might imagine that with these new music characteristics that old genre would be replaced with new ones, and to some degree this would be correct. However, the chords developed by Nova fit the following genres with no problem, : country, folk, folk rock, pop, jazz, rock, indie, indie folk; in fact, just about any genre you can think of! The difference is that the harmonic overtones generated gives a special and unique feel to these genres unlike the prior styles of music.