These audio clips are taken from a recording made at the first Twin Valley Digital Music Festival by Patricia Wells (viola), Duane Heller (prepared piano), and Samuel Pellman (digital instruments).
"blooded rising of the moon"The apocalyptic imagery of the poem provides the inspiration for the timbral and textural ideas shared by the three performers [NOTE: If the pre-recorded version of the electronic sounds is used in performance, please add here the following parenthetical expression: "(including as one of the performers the track of electronic sounds)"]. The dramatic design of the composition is fixed, but the details of the performance are to some degree the result of close improvisation.
"long continuous lightning in the north"
"having ravaged earth's beauty"
"the far wasp-whispering of the flames to come"
"the clean sound of the flame"
"the fierce increasing sound of iron cities' great volcanic death"
"more heat and glory than had ever..."
"...come into the spare and cautious veins of life"
"night of a great and unreturning day"
"the long ritual of life brought to a close"
"with still the face of God unseen"
Prior to performance the piano is "prepared" by the insertion of wooden pegs between the strings of the notes in the middle range of the instrument. The digital sounds include samples of prepared piano sounds, samples of other sounds produced inside a piano, and digitally synthesized timbres.
The work was composed on commission by the violist Patricia Heller and the pianist/composer Duane Heller.
Due to the obsolescence of much of this equipment (and software), it is no longer feasible to include live digital sounds in performance. However, the digital sounds have been recorded on a compact disc that can be played back in accompaniment to the performance of a live violist and pianist. Contact the composer for a copy of the CD if you would like to perform this work.
This piece was composed in the Studio for Contemporary Music at Hamilton College, in Clinton, New York.