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A line is a dot that went for a walk : for solo percussion

by Tristan Coelho (2018)

Work Overview

This piece is inspired by a quote from artist Paul Klee which is also the work's title: "A line is a dot that went for a walk." I just found the idea so playful and immediately appealing from a musical perspective. Straight away I had a mental image of an artist hesitantly starting in one corner of a large canvas, carefully placing multi-coloured dots which over time give way to sweeping lines and later form bold and blocky patches of colour. The piece, in two movements, also brings together two more general approaches which include a meditative and spacious style of music linked with nature as well as groove/loop-based approaches working with ideas of glitch and 'hard cuts' between ideas which are aligned with technology. In addition, my work is a nod to the classic vibraphone solo, Omar, by Italian composer Franco Donatoni.

a line is a dot that went for a walk was commissioned by Ensemble Offspring with the generous support of Baiba Berzins to whom the work is dedicated. The first movement was especially written for and performed at an event to celebrate Baiba's birthday in 2017.

Work Details

Year: 2018

Instrumentation: Percussion (1 player: vibraphone, low tom, bongo, suspended finger cymbal, two singing bowls (preferably pitched C4, F4), prepared mallet with chain).

Duration: 15 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to Claire Edwardes, Baiba Berzens. Dedicated to Baiba Berzens, Claire Edwardes

Commission note: Commissioned by Baiba Berzens.. Commissioned by Baiba Berzens.

First performance: by Claire Edwardes at Spectral Tech (Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music) on 29 Sep 2018


a line is a dot that went for a walk


Performances of this work

7 Nov 2019: at Lone Hemispheres II (Carriageworks). Featuring Ensemble Offspring.

29 Sep 2018: at Spectral Tech (Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music). Featuring Claire Edwardes.

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