Program Note for Vanishing Perspectives (amplified cello, 2005)


Vanishing Perspectives was commissioned by cellist Craig Hultgren in 2003 and premiered in 2005.  After considering many of the new innovations and new works written for solo cello, I realized that I wanted to write a piece that would readdress the cello’s more traditional role as a robust and singing baritone instrument.  I thought that that perspective was vanishing in much of the new music I was seeing, especially for an instrument that is tuned in fifths, often plays bass lines, and has such a strong tradition of playing tonal music. This work is also built on fragments of an earlier piece of mine (Cycles and Myths) and uses the idea of the half-step fall as a strong tonal force that shapes both small and large scale motion.  The amplification and reverberation help add a spatial dimension to the vanishing sounds and gestures.