'from States of Zero' was composed for Mieko Kanno in early 2001 and was performed by her to invited audiences at Reading University and at the Estoric Collection gallery of Italian art in London. Its angular harmonic language, including the use of quarter tones, has a textural motivation, creating a broken, scratched surface akin to the process in visual art of etching. The pressure applied to the string by the left hand or by the bow, along with the location of the bow on the string, affects the relative purity or richness of the tone produced. In this respect the violin string becomes the gateway to the new states of being represented by harmonics (pure tones produced by lightly touching the string with the left hand) and noise-enriched tones (produced by various methods). This awareness begins at the outset with the fine timbral alterations that take place on sustained notes within the opening melody accumulating intensity on a number of levels to reach a state of saturation. The knotting melodic and chordal gestures that form this principal line of the piece are the means by which a more figurative, fleeting expression is realised. From a carefully-balanced relationship of 'opposites' the two strands ultimately become intertwined to form a new continuity.
Composed for Mieko Kanno