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  • Category / Instrument
    Double bass, ensemble and electronics
    1(flA & picc).1(ca).2clB.1clcB / 1.1(pte trp).1(trbB).1 / 2perc / hp / pno / strings
  • Duration
    20'
  • Published
    01/01/2001
  • Premiere
    15/11/2001
    Bâle
    Mois européen de la Musique
    Enno Senft (doublebass), Ensemble Modern, Dominique My (conductor)
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Michael Jarrell's works are published by Editions Henry Lemoine :

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75004 PARIS
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Tel. : +33 (0)1 56 68 86 74
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Works

Droben Schmettert ein greller Stein

Note

The title of this work for double bass, ensemble and electronic setup is taken from the first verse of Austrian poet August Stramm's poem Verzweifelt, materialist poetry not lacking in parental analogies with Michael Jarrell's oeuvre.
Here, the point of departure is a particular sound phenomenon, the harmonic pizzicato. The composer had already been able to experiment with it in certain passages of Formes-Fragments IIB (1999) where this playing technique was transformed through an electronic setup by means of electronic filters. Previously, he had been very interested in working with harmonics, notably when writing for the violin. This research can be taken further with the double bass, because, due to the length of the strings, the range of harmonic partials is extremely broad. The instrument also permits effects of complex harmonics, in the form of sweeps or sound halos, similar to the working method on multiphonic sounds used in his solo clarinet piece Assonance (1983). It is often from such sonic phenomena that Michael Jarrell manages to establish a "rhizome" construction, shifting in the writing from one element to another, without ever losing the thread of what came before and of what is to be.

Verzweifelt
Droben schmettert ein greller Stein
Nacht grant Glas
Die Zeiten stehn
Ich
Stene.
Weit Glast Du!

August Stramm



I have always had a particular attraction for low instruments and, more recently, for string instruments: first, for the cello in Chaque jour n'est qu'une trêve entre deux nuits... Chaque nuit n'est qu'une trêve entre deux jours... (1990), then for the viola in From the leaves of shadow (1991), the violin in ...prisme / incidences... (1998) and now for the double bass. In Bebung (1995), I started with an oscillating vibrato on one note. Here, the starting point is a particular sound phenomenon, the harmonic pizzicato. I had already had a chance to experiment with it in certain passages of Formes-Fragments IIB (1999) where this playing technique was transformed by the electronic setup using MSP filters. In the past, I had been very interested by work on harmonics, notably when writing for the violin. The double bass allows that research to be taken further because, due to the length of the strings, the range of harmonic partials is extremely broad. The instrument also permits effects of complex harmonics, in the form of sweeps or sound halos, similar to the working method on multiphonic sounds used in Assonance (1983), my piece for solo clarinet. It is often from such sonic phenomena that I manage to establish a "rhizome" construction, shifting from one writing element to another, without ever losing the thread of what came before and of what is to be.

Michael Jarrell
In Sit n°17, September 2001.

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© Michael Jarrell