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Work

Balderdash : for string quartet

by Holly Harrison (2017)

Balderdash

$50.09

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Score

Balderdash : for string quartet / Holly Harrison.

Library shelf no. 785.714/HAR 4 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Balderdash begins and ends with amplifier feedback: a sound that quickly makes us bring our fingers to our ears! The piece imagines an alternate world in which music is heard between the feedback - a sort of sub/hyper-sonic sound world which takes place in mere seconds.


With this in mind, the string quartet explores musical ideas inspired by electric guitar, including distortion, white noise, whammy bars, power-chords, dive-bombs, wah-wah, phaser effects, slap bass, and of course, speaker feedback. Balderdash makes high use of punk rock rhythms, dissonance, and percussive-based jams, which morph in and out of bluegrass, grunge, prog-rock, metal, and . . . disco.


Given the piece was commissioned for a competition, I felt it might be fun to experiment with a battle-of-the-bands theme within the string quartet itself. Throughout Balderdash, players go rogue (especially the cello!), engage in one-upmanship, jam, duel, challenge, compete, interrupt, surrender, work together in teams, and cooperate as one. The piece is intended to be theatrical and encourages the quartet to perform with abandon.

Work Details

Year: 2017

Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello.

Duration: 13 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by Silo Collective for performance by Musica Viva Australia.. Commissioned for the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition

Performances of this work

5 Jul 2018: at Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition - Heats (Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM)). Featuring Callisto Quartet.

5 Jul 2018: at Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition - Heats (Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM)). Featuring Goldmund Quartet.

4 Jul 2018: at Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition - Heats (Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM)). Featuring Thaleia Quartet.

4 Jul 2018: at Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition - Heats (Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM)). Featuring Gildas String Quartet.

4 Jul 2018: at Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition - Heats (Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM)). Featuring Eliot Quartett.

3 Jul 2018: at Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition - Heats (Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM)). Featuring Quatuor Agate.

3 Jul 2018: at Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition - Heats (Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM)). Featuring Idomeneo Quartet.

3 Jul 2018: at Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition - Heats (Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM)). Featuring Baum Quartet.

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