No 23 Serenades II to IV (2004)
For 3 electric guitars & bass guitar
Commissioned by: Output Festival 2004, with financial support from the Netherlands Fund for the Creation of Music
First Performance: Electric Guitar Quartet Catch, October 10 2004, Paradiso, Amsterdam
Instrumentation: 3 electric guitars & bass guitar
Listen/Buy: Dan Lippel on Bandcamp
Serenades II to IV was written in the summer of 2004 for electric guitar quartet Catch and was premiered at the first edition of the Amsterdam Output Festival. The work was my first to exclusively employ amplified instruments and clearly betrays some of the joy I felt in playing around with the possibilities of the various effect boxes. The further I got into the piece, the more they also seemed to gain ground.
The piece therefore exhibits a somewhat strange sequence of events and ideas as it, firstly, omits any mention of a ‘First Part’ and then gradually seems to disintegrate more and more as the work progresses: from a fast, clear montage-form in the first part, erratically cross-cutting from register to register, via a slower – but still measured – movement, based entirely on the combination of slow strums, toggle vibrati, bell-harmonics and specified delays, to a final – much longer, quite dystopian – movement in which every sense of meter has disappeared and which revolves entirely around ‘live sound-sculpting’ - and some very complicated cross fading into the amps. It was especially this last section, built upon the idea of ‘crafting the sound before being allowed to proceed’ which opened up a whole new area in later pieces. The Serenades are thus, in every sense, a true ‘bridge-piece’.