Footsteps for solo cello and fixed media (2020) - 1 minute 15 seconds
Premiered on Instagram on November 14th, 2020 by cellist Arlen Hlusko as a part of her September Solo Cello (#septembersolocello) project. The video below is from Arlen's Instagram account (@celloarlen on Instagram).
Composition, Mixing, and Mastering done by myself.
Cello recorded by Arlen at her family home in Lowville, Ontario.
Studio Recording and Video are coming soon.
The program note is also below.
‘Footsteps’ is a piece made in the spirit of collaboration as a part of Arlen Hlusko’s (@celloarlen on Instagram) #septembersolocello project. She put a call out for composers to write miniatures for her during the lockdown and I responded, along with many other amazing composers!
I proposed a piece for cello and fixed media and asked Arlen to send me a clip of some music that she loves as well as take some field recordings which I could use as the basis for the piece.
She sent a 7 second clip from one of her favourite songs, ‘Holocene’ by Bon Iver, that spoke to her love of nature. She talked about her feelings of discovery and of being in love with the beauty of the world. And if you saw her nature photos… you would know exactly what she means! The clip she sent became a part of the DNA of both the cello and electronic parts in ‘Footsteps’.
Arlen also sent some beautiful field recordings of her walking in nature by her childhood home. I was drawn to the sound of her footsteps as she walked through various settings. In particular I liked their changing speeds, (walking or running), as well as the fact that I could deduce by ear where the recordings were made. I could hear things like the material she was walking on (boardwalk or forest floor), but I could also hear whether she was under forest cover or out in the open… I even felt like I could hear the temperature of the air.
In this miniature piece I wanted to capture something of the feelings of discovery and beauty Arlen spoke of, as well as the locations she recorded in. I felt that an interesting way to do this would be to have Arlen lead us on a little journey through nature by the sound of her footsteps.
A special bell I got in Myanmar makes an appearance in the piece too 🙂