No 59 Shadows (2016)
For solo double bass & sine waves
Commissioned by: Dario Calderone
First Performance: Gaudeamus Music Week, 8 September 2016, Galerie Kuub, Utrecht
Instrumentation: solo double bass & sine waves
Shadows is a particularly Herculean piece for solo Bass written during the summer of 2016 for the unsung wizardry of Dario Calderone, a player who is as equally creative as he seems technically unlimited. The piece consists of 5 parts, spanning 6 octaves in total and takes its title from the differences in texture that occur when doubling unisons, or near-unisons on adjacent strings. The work is partially based on earlier isochronic techniques I used in works such as Enclosures or Music for Sines, where all parts are of equal duration and the width of the interval is directly related to the time accorded to it. In this way the piece explores five Bass registers, initially dropping two octaves for the first three parts and then ascending to the extreme heights for the last two. A moment of biographical ‘phonorealism’ - to borrow a term from Ablinger - is further contained in the Sinewaves for the fourth part where I endeavored to transcribe the omnipresent sound of Cicadas I heard all around me while on a visit to Antipolo City in the Philippines.