Contemporary Cello – Etude
This etude miniature was written to explore a variety of sounds and techniques on a contemporary cello. First, the shift in timbre caused by rapidly moving from fingerboard to bridge is combined with strict dynamics and natural harmonics. Then, quarter tones color a short B section, then a return to the first. Breaking from this, this piece moves to the weak sound of bowing on the tailpiece, giving a little more sustain to the tapping of the indeterminately timed melody, also including quarter tones, then a rapid, violent section before moving to a quickly bowed section, ending on a tone that increases volume until it ends.
This contemporary cello piece is disjointed and condense, somewhat similar to the Commercial Album of the Residents, seeking to avoid repetition to quickly show new material. In part, the piece was a product of bass guitar improvisations, working through different possible sounds and using them in melodic fragments. This piece is presented in two forms, attempting to show the piece at two stages of development: the written and the printed.
Less a true etude than a quick-fire idea blender, this piece of contemporary cello music can be used as a transition piece or as a short showcase on its own.