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03.13.2009 – Fantasy for String Trio Uploaded

I’ve just uploaded a new piece to the site. It’s one that I’ve had under my belt for a few months now, but didn’t necessarily have much of a plan for releasing. Really, I had sort of forgotten about it’s existence until I stumbled upon it recently. The title of the work is “Fantasy on Themes from the Passion”. Technically it is scored for string trio, but the way it actually came about was as a random combination of recorded excerpts. Many months ago while I was still in the throes of composing the Passion, I had asked my wife and a couple of her friends to help me record some string samples that I could use in building the electroacoustic element of the Passion. They graciously agreed and we all met and laid down the tracks. I think in the end I had something like 250 usable tracks, ranging from ensemble textures to solo passages, from pizzicato to sul ponticello to col legno. I quickly put together a PureData patch that became a source of great entertainment for a very long time while I was working on the piece. First of all, the patch cataloged each sample and could reference its location on my hard drive. Then the patch used five or six file players to read the samples randomly. The file I’ve listed here was one of the most interesting compilations. Sometimes while I was doing other things, I would turn on the patch and listen to it for an hour at a time, never growing tired of the endless combination of themes. To make it a little more interesting, I added in a granular synthesizer (two, actually) to act as a transposing module. That way, it’s not just the same samples playing the same pitches over and over but often at different transpositions. In a way, I suppose it’s my hope that the presence of this piece here will give some impression of the Passion itself, which at the moment has no recording and no prospects for a performance. Consider it a sort of Lenten offering.

Fantasy on Themes from the Passion
[Download mp3 here – 5.5 Mb]
Violin – Violeta Trapcheva
Viola – Monika Nierychlo-Fryklund
Cello – Angelika Machnik