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La terra lagrimosa...una luce vermigila

for cello and electronics

Year:  2006

Year:  2006

John Croft

Composer:   John Croft

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John Croft: La terra lagrim...

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This piece was composed in 2006 for Matthew Barley and later revised. It exploits the natural harmonics available on the open strings, which are retuned to frequency ratios from higher in the harmonic series than those that underpin most Western music: for instance, the A string is tuned up to a slightly flat B-flat, a 7:2 ratio with the C string, while the G-string is tuned about three-quarters of a tone lower, an 11:4 ratio with the low C. The natural harmonics available on these de-tuned strings are then used to form melodic lines, while the live electronics are designed to respond to these pitches in different ways, sustaining them or adding textures and resonances to the live sound. This is done entirely in response to the live input: there are no soundfiles or score following involved, as the purpose is to extend the instrument rather than to add an accompaniment. The title is taken from Canto III of Dante's Inferno.

Performance history

21 Oct 2014: Performed by Séverine Ballon at the Rare Earth Concert at City University London, in London.