for solo bass viol (or muted cello) and cello octet
December 2009; 8′
Premiere: York Cello Ensemble, Sam Stadlen (solo bass viol), Peter Keenan (conductor), University of York Music Society concert, 9th March 2010.
The title divulges three factors in this piece’s conception: canonic form, the origin of the modern cello, and violence.
In 2009 I saw Anish Kapoor’s Shooting Into The Corner. Every 20 minutes, a giant cannon is loaded by hand, before a strident pull of a large handle fires it with a roar – the red wax cartridge smacks into the wall opposite, spewing specks of red everywhere. I began thinking about the people waiting eagerly to see this act, about expectation both satisfied and defeated.
The octet is a crowd baying for blood. The Bass Viol is overwhelmed easily. A ghost of a canon begins… fragments reappear and fade.