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My friend Charlie called 'Haunt…' a piece of “audacious design”. The phrase describes the physical positioning in the space, the separation into three parallel musics and the relationships between them, and the form of the piece in time.
Visually, 'Haunt…' is a cello solo with glimpses of the other elements; only the cellist is on stage. Off stage on one side is the ‘quartet of high instruments’, and the drummer on the other. The three elements have separate musical roles, seemingly sharing no material and, though carefully placed, essentially ignoring one another.
The quartet begins on a set of chords—the quartet’s entire vocabulary, the ingredients of a repeating chorale. The cellist’s music is more textural, the right hand eliciting a gradation of grits, from humming through trilling to grinding. The snare is really a white noise generator, off or on.
The drummer plays twice. The first interruption bisects the piece. Though the others seem to ignore it, it marks the point where cellist falls into loops, and the quartet’s loops become dispassionate, mechanical. The drummer also finishes 'Haunt…'
The title suggests revenge, starkness, endless repetition, and the effect of the in- (or barely-) visible.
06 Jul 2022: Performed by Heather Lewis (cello), Hannah Darroch (flute), Debbie Rawson (E-flat clarinet), Johnny Chang (violin), Gabriel Glapska (accordion right hand), and Justin DeHart (snare drum) as part of the Nelson Composers Workshop 2022 Opening Concert at Nelson Centre for Musical Arts, Nelson