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Tracing the outline

composer
2009

 
Tracing the outline was written in 2009 and is a suite of six movements exploring the interval of the fourth (think of the shift between the syllables in italics in Happy Birthday: Happy Birth- day to You). I think of this interval as open, simple and clear—it is one of the two so-called perfect intervals along with the fifth. It also has connotations of sacred music, and the outer movements of the piece have that quality. The intervals are almost always supplied by computer, so I play a cello line and computer processing adds a note a fourth below—if I am playing two notes, it creates wonderful lush four-note chords. Movement 1 is gentle and song-like and sets the atmosphere for the whole piece; Movement 2 is dance-like using a lot of plucked notes, with the computer not only supplying the note a fourth lower, but delaying it by half a beat, creating plucked sequences that sound unplayable; Movement 3 is an exuberant celebration of harmony and texture; Movement 4 is almost funereal with a melody that climbs high up the cello before falling gently back to the pulse of the steps from the beginning; Movement 5 (nicknamed 'Mission Impossible' by John) is one of the hardest things I’ve had to play for a long time (most of John’s music is either sight-readable or impossible): with each very fast beat divided into four, I have to play the first two notes of each beat, and the computer then plays them back (a fourth lower of course), and so on, but the pace of it makes it a mixture of exhilarating, confusing andexhausting to play. Movement 6 echoes the serenity of the opening, and closes the suite with a sigh that vanishes into stillness.

from notes by Matthew Barley © 2010

Recordings

Metcalfe: Constant filter & other works
Studio Master: SIGCD207Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Details

Movement 1: [untitled]
Track 1 on SIGCD207 [2'53] Download only
Movement 2: [untitled]
Track 2 on SIGCD207 [4'21] Download only
Movement 3: [untitled]
Track 3 on SIGCD207 [3'06] Download only
Movement 4: [untitled]
Track 4 on SIGCD207 [4'29] Download only
Movement 5: [untitled]
Track 5 on SIGCD207 [2'54] Download only
Movement 6: [untitled]
Track 6 on SIGCD207 [3'41] Download only

Track-specific metadata

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