Traditionally, string players coordinate the fingers of the left hand with the movement of the bow by the right arm. My idea for this piece was to disassociate the two hands/arms of the cellist and give each its own structure, reserving the confluence of the two for a structurally significant point, something the cellist has to work towards rather than take for granted as the performance norm. Naturally then, some of the sounds produced are a little out of the ordinary, as well as not especially sonorous, particularly the sounds produced by the left hand, which at the beginning of the piece is limited to tapping the finger board, pulling at the strings and executing quiet pizzicati. Hence the need for amplification: to give life to these small sounds and expose the listener to the tiny resonances and percussive noises that arise from such a performance practice.
Throughout the piece, one simple fingering pattern continuously dominates,
though it is only heard as a series of definite pitches some time after the
point at which bow and fingers are brought together onto the same string. At
this juncture, the piece takes a different direction as the fingering pattern
gradually works its way from one string onto all four, i.e. it becomes a
four-note chord instead of a fingering pattern. Throughout this process, the
method of bowing the string is continuously changing, from bowed in the normal
fashion, to bowed with the wood of bow, from bouncing the bow, to a smooth
legato, to an aggressive staccato etc. etc. This makes for an altogether
rather ferocious, agitated performance which is intended to be both stimulating
to the eye as well as to the ear and which, enhanced and exaggerated again by
amplification, should present the listener with a more physical and intimate
engagement with the performer.