826 Harry Cowley for Electric Cello and Electronics

826 Harry Cowley was written for and is dedicated to Christine Avis (of Stems fame) in celebration of her new electric cello. The piece was inspired by William James’ notion of the terminus and, following Matthew Sergeant, an example of a ‘hesitation,’ or an event irreconcilable with the musical language otherwise projected. I furthered this idea to produce what I call the ‘uncertain hesitation,’ by opening the possibility that the event itself was a consequence of equipment malfunction or failure.  The terminus is a point of perceptual closure and simultaneous opening out, where streams of sensual information collapse into a single event and serve as a ‘jumping off point’ to the next. Through performance, the terminus is inevitable, but may be resisted or ‘pushed back’ in a futile endeavour, or encouraged.

More information can be found in Chapter 5 of my master’s thesis.

826 Harry Cowley – PDF Score

Attention: Part of the recording is extremely loud, and so I recommend listening at a lower level to protect your ears and equipment.