Dark valley, clear sky (cello with live electronics)
by Anthony Lyons (2010)
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Library shelf no. 787.4/LYO 1 [Available for loan]
Dark Valley, Clear Sky was written for electric cello
and loop pedal. The piece constructs a journey through the
layering of looped materials that incorporate harmonics,
pizzicato technique, cello body percussion and melodic
While much of the looped musical material is kept simple, there are sections that require the cellist to interpret, improvise and incorporate extended techniques. A broad range of musical and technical skills are needed to successfully perform the work. A loop pedal is an instrument in itself and in many ways using it effectively requires the cellist to be playing two instruments simultaneously.
In Dark Valley, Clear Sky, a delicate beginning builds towards a climactic solo section that increases in intensity until there is a chaotic timbrel disintegration of the melodic soundworld. The title of the work draws on the various contrasts of timbre, asymmetric pulse and use of melodic fragments that move between darker, rougher moments to lighter, clearer, more transparent moments. The score should be taken as a departure point, offering the cellist the opportunity to progressively incorporate elements of improvisation, extended techniques and the optional use of delay, reverb and overdrive effects.
Instrumentation: Electric cello, loop pedal (optional use of effect pedals including reverb, delay, overdrive/ distortion).
Duration: 7 min.
Difficulty: Medium — Simultaneous playing of cello and loop effects pedal required
Commission note: Commissioned by Jesse Martin.
First performance: by Jesse Martin — Nov 10. Richmond Uniting Church, Melbourne
Performances of this work
Nov 10: Richmond Uniting Church, Melbourne. Featuring Jesse Martin.
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