for cello and percussion(2014)
|Movements||1. with focused energy, and changes on dimes|
2. lyrical, singing, relentless
3. clear and urgent
|Commission||Commissioned by St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for Ashley Bathgate and Ian Ding|
|Premiere||September 2013; St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's Liquid Music Series, St. Paul, MN; Ashley Bathgate, cello • Ian Ding, percussion|
The cello and the drum set (timbrally and acoustically very different forces) may be more easily defined by their differences than their similarities. So my challenge in writing this music was to call their assumed identities into question and to try and blur the lines between their typical roles. Rhythmic and melodic responsibilities are shifted fluidly between players, and there are long passages where the instruments play in unison.
I also chose to "prepare" the cello by wedging a wine cork between the two middle strings. This enables the cello to make startling unique sounds (harsh and distorted at sometimes, gong-like at others), and also very much obstructs the instrument's ability to project sound in the way it was intended.
'Furtive movements' is a phrase found in many reports from the New York City Police Department: it is the most commonly cited reason individuals were detained under the Stop and Frisk policy. This phrase conveys the assumption of guilt -- furtiveness -- based on appearance or demeanor in a given moment, which.is striking to me because it speaks more to the expectations of the observer than to a useful description of the subject.