for solo cello

Mary Bellamy

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for solo cello

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Composer Mary Bellamy
Year of Composition 2009-10
Duration 11'30"

Categories (all composers) , , , ,
Catalogue ID ce-mb3t1


Transference was written for and premiered by Séverine Ballon at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, 2011. Judith Hamann gave the second performance in University of California San Diego in 2013.

This piece is the result of close collaborative work with cellist Séverine Ballon though which aspects of sounds, gesture and structure were extensively explored and developed. A primary concern was to facilitate ways in which the creative interested of composer and performer could meet and form a dialogue, and to enable the final piece to be a unique and comprehensive reflection of this. The discourse began as a mixture of ideas: notated and non-notated, relating to compositional or playing techniques, as well as aesthetic concerns relating to issues of inspiration or creative focus. Gradually, through collaborative work, these ideas were channelled towards a group of defining sounds that could form a vocabulary for the piece. These defining sounds are: those that operate on the verge of audibility, multiphonics (belonging to Séverine’s own unique repertoire of ‘cello sounds) and those characterised by a degree of instability produced through different forms of bow movement. The resultant work deals predominately with quiet, fragile sounds which are continuously transferred between the different registers of the instrument. Playing techniques such as light finger pressure on the string and different degrees of bow pressure, along with different types of glissandi, are used to convey this movement between registers. The aspects of change that the title suggests also relate to moments in the piece where there is a redirection of feeling, as passages that convey stillness and distance are contrasted with those that contain more activity and force, and incorporate the more
percussive sound resources of the instrument.