Films, Audio & Samples
John Rimmer: Shattered - AUDIOEmbedded audio
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A few years ago one of my colleagues, violinist David Nalden, broke his bow during a performance of my Composition 8 for Violin and Electronic Sounds. The wood shattered, the audience sighed in response and the performer naturally felt despondent - 'shattered' in fact.
Shattered begins by zooming in on the sound of the breaking bow. One hears repetitions of the actual recording of the event which focus on the percussive like sound of the shattering bow. After about a minute and a half from the beginning this sound is gradually stretched and splintered into sound events the smallest of which bare a striking resemblance to the original sound from where they came. A new dramatic sound - world evolves with ghostly-like sonorities derived from violin harmonics contrasted with densely packed sweeping gestures of bow splinters. The work concludes with reappearances of the original recording as if the violinist were attempting to reenter the stage albeit with a broken bow.
Shattered was completed in 1995 using the internationally acclaimed programme 'Csound' developed by Barry Vercoe at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
As a sequel to Composition 8 and its shattered violin bow, David Nalden's loss was compensated for when his daughter Natalie performed the same work for a recital at the Royal Northern College, winning a prize specifically for the purchase of a bow.