The starting point when composing Whispering c(h)ords, quietly falling (2021) was the image of the cord on the spring drum resonating with its body. Inharmonic chords in the wind instruments take shape as the material grows and expands upwards. Finally the music releases; a whirling dance in the upper range of the strings, piano and percussion, until falling back to the low register – quietly.
The commission from UK based Riot Ensemble with financial support from PRS Foundation was the result from winning the ensembles “Call for score 2020”.
Whispering c(h)ords, quietly falling was premiered by Riot Ensemble and conductor Aaron Holloway-Nahum at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in November 2021 and broadcasted by BBC Radio 3.
Durata: ≈ 12′
Score available at Svensk Musik
Excerpt, recording by BBC Radio 3:
quietly falling (2021)
For bass/Bb clarinet, trombone, tuba, percussion, grand piano, violin, viola and cello.
Commissioned by Riot Ensemble from their 2020 Call for Scores, with financial support from the PRS Foundation.
The starting point when composing Whispering c(h)ords, quietly falling was the image of the cord on the spring drum resonating with its body; an image I find evocative both visually and audibly. In the spring drum, accompanied by the tuba and the extended playing of the piano, the music proceeds with timbral variations around one single note (G). Inharmonic chords take shape, their pitch material deriving from electronic modulations of a clarinet multiphonic. As the material grows and expands upwards, strings are added, almost only playing natural harmonics. The detuned strings create a modified harmonic spectrum. The music whirls around in the upper range of the strings, piano and percussion, until falling back to the low register – quietly.
“…articulated as a tactile, textural drone, gentle but arresting, in a state of continual defocusing and refocusing. Having opened out into a more overtly lyrical language, it subsided back to faint scratches and something akin to a far-off foghorn. Ten minutes of such wonderfully controlled waxing and waning was nowhere near enough.”
– Simon Cummings on Whispering c(h)ords, quietly falling