Page 1

JULIE HERNDON

To Speak

FOR STRING QUARTET duration: 7-10 minutes 2018


Program notes The sound of a word being recalled, the physical realization of a memory—these prosaic, almost biological rhythms constitute the fabric of this piece. The players are asked to tell a story, to remember an early occasion of speaking. While their words are barely audible, their pacing and inflection shapes the material. Pitches emerge as speech slows. Words stretch lugubriously into tones and, eventually, song. The players continue to communicate through shifting veils of sound.

Performance Notes Included is a glossary, describing the required techniques, and a score, mapping and modifying the techniques in time. Each technique is modeled from a chapter in David Appelbaum’s book, The Voice (State University of New York Press, Albany, 1990). Each technique details a way in which the performers’ vocalizations can be expressed through their instrument. The natural inflection and pacing of physical vocalization is crucial to the piece, so the players are asked to mark the actions with their bodies using barely audible whispers, tensed core muscles for “coughing,” etc. It is important for the sounds to be delivered through the instrument at the rhythm and speed by which they would occur in the body. The words themselves are not important, nor are exaggerated mouth and body movements desired; the emphasis is on the interactive task of listening, reacting, and directing sound toward one another. General familiarity with each of the techniques is recommended before playing through score. Modifications are notated throughout the piece, but in the absence of specifications, refer to glossary for default methods and improvise therewith. Each technique given in the score applies until a new technique is given.

s.p. sul ponticello m.s.p. molto sul ponticello continue technique continue technique intermittently

© Julie Herndon 2017


WHISPER

Whisper a response: Remember an early memory of yourself speaking. What did you say and why? To whom were you speaking? Speculate and reimagine the details of the event. Would you still express the same sentiment today?

B

Gettato col legno of varying length and repetition functions as an interruption to you and other players. Bow: gettato col legno

Elaborate in free-form stream of consciousness sentences and phrases. Mirror your verbal inflections with bow pressure and articulation using the examples below as suggestions. Keep volume of voice less than volume of instrument.

LH: default: mute strings Range: vary I, II, III, IV, or pitched as notated

Dynamics: p -sfz Dynamics given in score refer more to the energy applied than the volume, necessarily

C from “Efficiency through Inflection” www.testden.com

Bow: overall light pressure; range given in score reflects general area for articulation, near the frog, middle, or tip LH: light pressure to mute strings Position: vary up for higher pitches, down for lower (up/down directionality as pictured left) Range: match vocal quality as possible (default: sul III, IV) Dynamics: ppp - F (at its loudest, tones begin to peek through) Use given dynamic in score as starting point and vary throughout according to natural verbal inflections Phrase lengths: verbose, medium, or brief Speed: slow, average, or fast When instructed to whisper spatially (to self, audience, or player), align eye contact and body language with that direction

COUGH œ œ œ œ

LAUGH

Erratic gettato (ord.) and spiccato tremolo with slow LH gliss. function as accellerating and decellerating contageous outbursts. Bow: gettato (ord.) œ œ œ œ œ œœœ œ

spic. tremolo œ œ œ œ œ œœœ œ

A

œ œœ œ œ

Julie Herndon

i

to speak: glossary

spic. tremolo gettato

LH: 1/2 pressure slow gliss. Range: I, II, III, IV or pitched as notated Dynamics: p - f


ii

D

E

BABBLE

Combine all previous material, playfully exploring elements from multiple angles as if for the first time. Continue WHISPER story with COUGHing and LAUGHing interruptions, while adding varying degrees of LH pressure on gliss. Intersperse rapid erratic LH movement with stasis on a single pitch as notated in score using the scale below: high pitch erratic

static

low pitch

Bow: vary techniques from WHISPER, COUGH, and LAUGH, and elongated strokes œ œ œ œ œ œœœ œ

LH: 1/2 pressure ord. gliss. increasing in range and moving toward higher pitches, but returning to smaller, lower intervals Range: I, II, III, IV Dynamics: p - f

F

INTONE

Recall/reinvent phrases from opening. Stretch syllables or words over the notated durations or intone words on given pitches by repeating ad lib. Elongate and exaggerate the syllabic inflections from WHISPER by varying LH pressure as pictured: open strings:

mute to open

BREATHE

Match bow to length of breath. While similar to INTONE, BREATHE has no verbal content. LH can take two forms: 1) default is slow, breath-lengthed gliss. 2) when marked “erratic,” play irregular harm. gliss. as if inhaling and exhaling sporadically

all other notes:

1/2 to full pressure

Bow: varied, with longer strokes LH: 1/2 ord. as your verbal inflections dictate Range: (as notated) Dynamics:

p- f

Bow: slow breath-length strokes or erratic when specified LH: breath-lengthed gliss. between notes, or erratic harmonic gliss. when specified. Dynamics: p - F


Score

to speak for JACK Quartet

1

Violin I

Violin II

&

Viola

B

Cello

2

Vln. I

Vln. II

Vla.

Vc.

&

bow: frog (ad lib.) LH: low (pitch) IV: verbose, average speed, to audience

P

?

P

,

middle low verbose, slow to self

U ∑

?

U ∑ (frog ad lib.) slowing, faltering

middle

accel. LH: low

& B

tip high

P

bow: frog verbose, fast, to audience

imitate violin I LH: high bow: frog verbose, fast, to audience

P

,

bow: middle LH: high IV: medium, average speed, to audience

U ∑

&

Julie Herndon

high

F (frog ad lib.) slowing, faltering

middle

p U ∑ © 2017 Julie Herndon

U ∑

U ∑

U ∑

U ∑

U ∑

U ∑

once, juicy

U ∑

Í


2 3

Vln. I

&

imitate cello by watching bow: tip, bouncy words (poco spiccato) LH: low brief: slow getting faster

to speak LH: low

P

π

s.p. IV: brief, slow and getting slower

P B

Vla.

?

Vc.

4

Vln. I

Vln. II

Vla.

Vc.

&

*

Vln. II

& & B ?

imitate cello sentences by closing eyes and listening bow: tip, bouncy words (poco spiccato) LH: low brief: getting slower

P

bow: tip, bouncy words (poco spiccato) LH: low brief: slow getting faster

U ∑

stretching words q = syllable

œ

œ

œ

P

Œ

œ

gliss.

F

œ

œ

œ œ

œ

œ

œ

gliss.

P

œ

œ

π

œ

œ œ

œ

œ

F middle

cont.

P middle

P

bow: frog (ad lib.) LH: low alternate III and IV: verbose, fast, to self

* whisper, holding some words into longer tones

, imitate viola

π

bow: middle, on bridge LH: low III: brief, fast, to audience

P

,

P

bow: middle LH: low verbose, slow, lugubrious

,

F

medium, fast, to violin I, accel.

,

middle LH: low to cello

tip high a little frenetic

high

U ∑

, explosive, but dainty (repeat ad lib.)

,

high to violin II

F

F

Πdry (once)

morendo

LH: low

imitate violin II but quieter bow: middle, on bridge LH: low III: brief, fast, to audience

bow: ad lib. frog LH: low alternate III and IV: verbose, slow, lugubrious to violin II

P allowing some words to push into F

œœ

œ

π U ∑

π

œ l.v.

œ

P

LH: low

P

U ∑

F

œ

œ

middle

f

U ∑ U ∑

Œ Œ


to speak 5

Vln. I

& &

Vln. II

Vla.

Vc.

6

p

ßp

LH; begin low, ad lib. verbose, fast, to self *

p

?

LH: begin high, ad lib. III: brief, slow, exchange phrases with viola *

&

π

P

begin as if laughing conversationally, then more sinister

π

f

,

verbose, accel.

P

LH: mute

Vln. II

P ß in p

B

&

slow

to audience

LH: begin high, ad lib. III: brief, fast, exchange phrases with cello *

Vln. I

3 low fast

LH: high fast joining viola

LH: high IV: verbose, slow, to self *

P

f

œ

Vla.

B F

Vc.

?

œ

w

slow w = syllable

l.v.

j (œ )

1/2

#w

F

w F

LH: mute react to violin I, attempting to converse, but limited, frustrated

F

U ∑

P

B

U ∑

U ∑

cathartic outburst solo ad lib.

begin q = 120

pœ œ œ œ œ œ .. w .. P 3

sul II

U ∑

ord. II, III, IV

∑ p &

U ∑

F f

1/2 pressure sul III, IV

sul II

U ∑

* intersperse A with B using past vocabularies (ABC is similar: intersperse A with B and C)

1/2 pressure

accel.

rit.

3

p


to speak

4 7

Vln. I

U

&

Vln. II

&

Vla.

B

&

? F

π

?

8

w

#w

Vln. I

&

gliss.

π

w

w

Vla.

Vc.

& B ?

π

w

gliss.

π

P

non arm., n.v.

Vln. II

w

gliss.

w

w

π

intersperse B on given pitches between violin alignments

F

œœœœœœœœ

w o p

P

P

B

gliss.

&

ww

breathy, w = long bowed syllable: find alignment of each interval before changing non arm., n.v.

w

ww π

s.p. speak in slow motion, stretching words into tones, to self, repeat pitches ad lib.

harm. gliss.

ord.

Vc.

w w

w w π

LH: 1/2 pressure speak in slow motion, stretching words into tones, to violin I (open II, gliss. I)

j œ

F

&

LH: 1/2 pressure imitate violin II, a little behind, speak in slow motion, stretching words into tones gliss.

œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ œ

gliss.

w

impossibly long breath U slow gliss. — J

w

gliss.

w

gliss.

F

π

f

o

U,

w

F

intersperse A col legno with B on given pitches

œœœœ

P

(s.p.)

?

ord.

F

slow, sul IV

ww

m.

har

s.

glis

— J

U,


9

Vln. I

Vln. II

Vla.

Vc.

LH: high erratic harm. gliss. sul I, II

&

low

,

to speak without a fixed tempo, measure = long bowed ex/inhale

rit. LH: high (gliss. to pitch) sul III

slow, single word

w o

P

&

rit. LH: 1/2 pressure gliss. to pitch

p

œœœœ œœœœ

B

U ∑

LH: begin high erratic harm. gliss. sul III, IV

?

P

U ∑

π

&w π

fast, verbose (repeat ad lib.)

&w o

w P

slow, single word

Vla.

Vc.

B ?

w p

gliss.

œ p

w

gliss.

gliss.

#w o P

w F

slow, single word

,

fast, verbose (repeat ad lib.)

w F

œ

w o P ,

˙ o P

w F gliss.

gliss.

w F

&

IV: as if slowly explaining to violin I

find the alignment of each chord in a moment of stasis before changing

Vln. II

#w P

gliss.

LH: high I: fast, as if explaining to viola, shrill but muted

10

Vln. I

5

w π

w Fp

gliss.

slow, single word

gliss.

( # ˙)

gliss.

gliss.

w F w P

gliss.

w op ,

gliss.

x

w p

x

w oP

x

,

#w π

gliss.

x


6

to speak

slightly faster q = 60

impossibly long breath

speak slowly, articulating words ad lib. on tied notes and glissandi

4 ww 4 F

3 ˙. 4 ˙. p

4 œ 4

w œ œ # œ 44 F

. 34 ˙ p F

44 ˙

&x w P

11

Vln. I

verbose, vary speed repeat/reorder pitches ad lib. to complete sentence

Vln. II

Vla.

œ œ œ &x P Bx w p

Vc.

?x 12

Vln. I

Vln. II

Vla.

& &

œ

w p

gliss.

œ.

œ.

F gliss.

42

F

w

B˙ F

44 ˙

˙ 42

˙. F

Vc.

gliss.

œ

gliss.

44

w

4 w 4 p

s.p.

gliss.

œ F

42 ˙

˙

˙

4 4

P

24 ˙ F

44 ˙ .

gliss.

F

44 # œ .

gliss.

œ.

43 ˙ . P

44 #˙. F

snickering

œ ˙ 45

gliss.

l.v.

45 ˙

4 4

gliss.

˙ #˙.

42 ˙

œ

gliss.

gliss.

Πgliss.

44 w

rit.

44

5 4

44 # œ œ ˙˙

œ #œ

gliss.

45

gliss.

p

˙

43 ˙ . p

ord.

speaking slowly (s.p.)

? ˙. P

F

2 4

speak slowly, articulating words ad lib. on tied notes and glissandi p 44 w 44 w 42 ˙˙ w w F

s.p. erratic tremolo, snickering softly

2 ˙ 4

#( ˙

˙

speak slowly, articulating words ad lib. on tied notes and glissandi

44 w F

m.s.p.

œ

x

x

rit.

∑ rit.

ord.

44 w 44 ˙ .

brief, very slow

w œ

rit.

˙

gliss.

˙

x œ π x

w

π

,


U ∑

13

Vln. I

Vln. II

Vla.

& &

5 4 ˙ F

begin q = 72 and modify ad lib.* repeat a word or phrase

#œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ#œ .. w .. w F

erratic harm. gliss sul II

P

q = 72 each note a syllable

to speak

45

..˙

˙

repeat a word or phrase

B

P

..

? .. ˙ P & 74

14

Vln. I

Vln. II

& 74

Vla.

B 74

Vc.

? 74

gliss.

˙.

f

˙

(q = 72)

3

5 4

..

gliss.

w

x

w

x œ w

p

bow: light, tip brief, fast to viola

gliss.

xw

*do not align rhythmically with other parts

44

74

continue from where repeated phrase leaves off

7 4

to violin I

∑ ∑

cont.

P

w w w

hold last syllable cont.

P

mid.

p

7 4 74

p

P

7

44

4 4 ˙ P

(q = 72)

slow words to violin II

xp

˙

P

45

remember violin II phrase inflection

begin q = 52 and modify ad lib.* repeat a word or phrase

Vc.

4 ˙. 4

˙.

(q = 72)

begin q = 66 and modify ad lib.*

œ


to speak

8 15

Vln. I

&

Vln. II

&

Vla.

Vc.

B ? 16

F erratic harm. gliss. sul I, II

F

imitate inflection from remembered violin II phrase

œ

œ

P

œ

œ

begin q = 88 and modify ad lib.* repeat a portion of that word or phrase

Π.. w

œ

œ

f

slowing LH gliss. to match inhale/exhale LH: ord. (varied pressure)

& p

Vln. II

&

p LH: 1/2 pressure

Vc.

s.p.

F

Vln. I

œ

B ?

.. ord.

erratic harm. gliss. sul II

Vla.

œ

accel. LH: ord. (varied pressure)

œ

œ

p p

rit.

rit.

rit.

∑ ∑

∑ rit. harm. gliss. sul III

sul III, IV

To Speak  

premiered by JACK Quartet, 2018

To Speak  

premiered by JACK Quartet, 2018

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