Why is this music titled Cello Peace?

23 Apr

Cellist Jeffrey Krieger will be presenting Cenk Ergün‘s Cello Peace for electronic cello and 4 channel playback system at this year’s festival. We’ve asked Jeffrey to share his thoughts on this work. Please share your thoughts in our comment section! — HNMF

I became interested in Cello Peace for electric cello and 4 channel playback system by composer, Cenk Ergun, about a year ago because of its beauty and unique performance challenges. However, I realized that finding an opportunity to perform a multi channel work was going to be difficult since the standard for playback in most concert halls is stereo speakers. Naturally I was excited to hear that the Hartford New Music Festival would have the technical support to help realize a performance.

The score, originally composed for acoustic cello, calls for the cellist to record the approximately 37 minute solo part 3 times. Then, these 3 recorded tracks are played simultaneously along with the live part on a 4 channel playback system, each part assigned to its own speaker.

Initially I explored creating a computer program of delays that would echo and alter 3 slightly different versions of the live solo part. The alterations would be made using filters and detune. However, the differences between the computer program version and the original method of assembling the work were dramatic enough to warrant using the original method intended by the composer.

While recording the tracks the decision was made to adapt some sounds to better suit the electric cello. For example, a ‘hissing’ sound made by bowing the wooden tailpiece of an acoustic cello could not be made on the metal tailpiece of an electric cello. I suggested bowing perpendicular directly on top of the bridge close to the transducers which are built into the bridge about a 1/4″ from the top.

The process of assembling the work gave me a few interesting insights. Even though the performer strives for perfection while recording the unison tracks, it is really the imperfections and the close, dynamic relationships between the recorded tracks, as well as the live solo that make the work a success. Perhaps a parallel exists between the above and our current efforts to understand one another in such a tumultuous world. An understanding that could create better balance leading to world peace.

Why is this music titled Cello Peace?

— Jeffrey Krieger

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