Ghost gnat parasite : for string trio
by Tim Hansen (2011)
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Ghost Gnat Parasite was composed as a remedy to some darker stuff I'd been composing at the time. I wanted to write a piece that was fun to play and fun to listen to, plus I only had two weeks from first dot on the page to final product in the hands of the performers, so I didn't have time to luxuriate in over-intellectualising things.
This piece started with the name and grew from there, (a not unwelcome trend I've noticed creeping into my compositions). Actually, it started off being called "Parasite", then an hour later I thought that "Gnat" was a better name, and then out of nowhere came "Ghost", and finally I thought that all three were pretty interesting things to call a piece, and so I decided to name the piece all three things, and ordered the words as such because I felt it rolled off the tongue more pleasantly that way.
Intially I started with the concept of having one instrument
being the "Ghost", one being the "Gnat", and one (surprise
surprise) being the "Parasite". So the piece begins with the
cello as the "Gnat", droning away relentlessly underneath
everything else, followed by the addition of the parasitic violin
melody, which makes no real sense without the harmonic support of
the incessant cello. Finally, the viola groans and moans its way
into the midst of it all, a ghost in the middle of the
It was a great start... but deadlines and the encroaching panic of writer's block meant that I had to abandon the conceit by the middle of the second section and instead just go with my gut, which is why the third section ("tarantella") has a much more homogenous texture than the previous two. But you know what? I don't think it matters.
Instrumentation: Violin, viola, cello.
Duration: 7 min.
The composer states the following influences on this work:
Comic pieces, tarantella, dramatic pieces.
Performances of this work
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