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Behind the Parapet

for piano trio, with effects pedals and amplification

Year:  2005 Instrumentation:  violin, cello, and piano - electronics require reverb pedal, delay pedal, and on/off switch for each performer

Year:  2005
Instrumentation  violin, cello, and piano - ...

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: Page 1

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This piece was inspired by Plato's allegory of the cave in which he describes humankind as existing in a world where truth is merely a shadow.

...above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a parapet; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in from of them, over which they show the puppets. ...they only see their shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite side of the cave.

I have used Plato's allegory more as a point of departure and as an occasional reference point rather than a literal representation of the story. However, there are instances where I have deliberately tried to capture the character of the marionette players, the fire and the shadows.

The purpose of the digital effects, are twofold. Firstly, the delay and reverb should at times create a nebulous quality in which motifs become slightly blurred and imprecise. Secondly, with the aid of amplification and effects, the more intimate colours of the piano strings being stroked or violin and cello pizz are given more presence.

Michael Williams Notes taken from Ahi - The Ogen Trio, Atoll Records ACD108

Commissioned note

Commissioned by Chamber Music New Zealand to be performed by the Ogen Trio. The funds for the commission were provided by Creative New Zealand.

Dedication note

for the Ogen Trio with my sincere thanks

Performance history

25 Jun 2005: Performed by the Ogen Trio; Mahurangi College Hall, Warkworth

Performed by the Ogen Trio with electronic effects by Michael Williams