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Strings Attached : percussion sextet

by Erik Griswold (1999)

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The Australian Music Centre's catalogue does not include any recordings or sheet music of this work. This entry is for information purposes only.

It is listed in our catalogue because an event featuring a performance of this work was included in our calendar of Australian music. Details of this performance are listed below.

Work Overview

In Strings Attached, six drummers surround a central pole. Their sticks are tethered to the pole, or in some cases to each other, by means of lightweight white nylon rope. Movements in the rope, therefore, reflect each movement of the sticks.

Big musical gestures give rise to a dramatic choreography as rising and falling tremolos on the drums produce parallel wave shapes on the ropes. However, Strings Attached also amplifies small shifts of color: changing the striking area on the drum from center to edge produces subtle changes of tone color which could easily go unnoticed in performance. But, this small shift of position causes the strings to tighten and creates very noticeable results in the waveform on the rope. Strings Attached reduces instrumental color to the single sound of a snare drum, but by amplifying its sound visually, big shapes are made from small sources. With its clear relationship of cause and effect, a fascinating game of intentions and results ensues. The drummers are not unlike children with flashlights who cast the scary shadows of monsters on the inside of a tent.

— Steven Schick

Work Details

Year: 1999

Instrumentation: Percussion sextet.

Duration: 12 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by Red Fish Blue Fish (Ensemble).

First performance: by Red Fish Blue Fish (Ensemble) — 1999. University of California, San Diego


Strings attached

Performances of this work

24 May 2012: at Thunderstruck (WAAPA Music Auditorium). Featuring Speak Percussion.

1999: University of California, San Diego. Featuring Red Fish Blue Fish (Ensemble).

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