a trail of indeterminate light
for cello and voice (solo or duo)This work can be performed as solo cello with voice (preferred) or as a duo of cellist and vocalist. (1997)
|Commission||Commissioned by Music Teachers National Association and New Mexico MTA.|
|Premiere||November 14, 1997; Music Teachers Association Conference at St. John's Church, Santa Fe, NM; Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, cello and voice|
I have long been intrigued by the warmth, fluidity and passion of the cello sound and how very like the human voice it can be. In writing this work, I wanted to incorporate not only those characteristics but also the cellist's own voice woven into the texture. My concern in using close harmonies that encourage the sonic interaction between the string and vocal sounds is to draw the ear toward both the acoustical tension and the seductive aural blending of these sounds. I was also inspired by master architect Frank Lloyd Wright's theories of geometric forms holding "a certain 'spell power' "and in particular, "the triangle" implying "structural unity" and "the spiral, organic process." I used my interpretation of these ideas in constructing this work, placing the twelve tones onto four triangles, creating what I consider to be triangular shaped three-note chords and spiraling melodic lines based on overlapping these triangles.
The work was also inspired by lines from Elie Wiesel's novel "Night":
"At last, the morning star appeared in the gray sky. A trail of indeterminate light showed on the horizon."
- Joan La Barbara