Bass clarinet, violoncello and percussion (2008)

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Bass clarinet, Violoncello and Percussion (2008) Alexander Hunter


Bass clarinet, Violoncello and Percussion Performance Notes Bass clarinet, Violoncello and Percussion was written in March and April of 2008 for the Research Ensemble. This piece was composed to explore what is possible when instrumentalists forget who they are and what they are accustomed to doing, and speak as one coherent unit; three people forming one sound using three different instruments. To do this they must attack each note in unison, and cause their sounds to decay in unison. Because of the nature of the three instruments, the percussionist is to lead the ensemble. S/he will cue each attack and the other two musicians well need to follow the decay of her/his sound exactly. The score consists of eleven pages which contain eight sounds each (read left to right). The musicians are to decide on a quantity of pages to be performed, but they should not necessarily each play from the same pages. The performance length is therefore extremely variable. Bass Clarinet: the range in which the performer feels comfortable (which may or may not include the altissimo register) is to be divided into five roughly equal parts (5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest). ‘Cello: the range in which the performer feels comfortable (which may or may not include natural and artificial harmonics) is to be divided into five roughly equal parts (5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest). This accounts for the top line of the ‘cello part. The second line represents bow placement (1 being molto sul tasto and 5 being molto sul ponticello). For example, 1/5 would indicate a pitch very low in register, to be played molto sul ponticello. Percussion: the percussionist should play a single cymbal or any other gong-like instrument on which variable-length decays are possible. The closed circles indicate a mallet attack, the squares indicate an attack using the stick end of the mallet, and the open circles indicant a manual attack (with a finger or other part of the hand). The notation also indicates where on the surface of the instrument the attack is to occur. Do not move to the next sound until the current sound has fully decayed. A. T. Hunter 23/04/08


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