Prelude : I started composing Suite 7 Days in 2009. It was very difficult since I had little experience in composition prior to the project. I was lucky to have a composer friend to give me feedback every now and then. Through the revision process, I have learned so much about both composition and sound possibilities on the cello. After almost three years (and a whole lot of writers cramp), Suite 7 Days was finally completed. It features seven movements performed entirely from pizzicato on the cello, and it represents what I envision each day sounds like.
What makes this piece stand out is that it requires the performer to use a practice mute throughout the movements. Often times this wouldn't be done because a practice mute dampens the sound way too much to be heard in a concert hall. However, the combination of pizzicato and the unique muffled sound of a practice mute is definitely something worth exploring. To combat the loss in decibels in a large venue, an amplifier can be used and is recommended.
The CD : Suite 7 Days, includes 8 tracks with a total duration of 22:00 minutes. Rainy Sunday was inspired by childhood memories of sleeping in, on Sunday, while listening to light rain outside.
The Score : Is available for purchase. While the score is very detailed (extended techniques, fingerings, tempo.. etc), it is also clean and easy/pleasant to look at. I personally went through the score multiple times, note by note, to fix any any imperfections or anything that might be unclear or confusing, and believe that the final score is as clear as I can make it.
Total performance duration is about 18min
The next most notable performance was Jerry Liu’s Suite 7 Days, with 7 vignettes starting with Monday. A student of Cello, Liu composed and performed the works which feature some of the most unique fingering on a cello I’ve seen. Absent of bow, the instrument was plucked pizzicato as well as strummed like a classical guitar. The left hand fingering was highly reminiscent of classical guitar fingerings, but the pulsating and driving chord progressions were really a class unto themselves. Showing both cohesion and a variety amongst the seven days, Liu evoked the essence of each day. The instrument was fitted with an electronic pickup and aided by a small amplifier. The volume without amplification would be very low because of the strumming style of the fingering. Liu was not reading any notation.
February 7, 2011 by mmoglen