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Donnacha Dennehy

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Overstrung (2010)
G Schirmer Inc
Solo Works (excluding keyboard)
Year Composed
7 Minutes
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Programme Note
Donnacha Dennehy Overstrung (2010)
The attraction of doing anything with electronics or recorded sound for me is in trying to create some sort of imaginative world not possible in the purely acoustic realm. For a while now I've been drawn to the idea of exploring the textural/harmonic world created by using overtone-based harmony. The electronic part is made by multi-tracking various violin lines (and special thanks is due to Monica Germino for her enormous assistance here). The player produces many of these lines solely by executing patterns of harmonics, usually played in a very deliberate flautando fashion. In order to produce different harmonies, the same patterns were done with different scordaturas (producing harmonics on F#, Bb, B, etc.), as I did not want a limited overtone-harmonic world confined to the normal open-string tuning of the violin. Not wishing either to be limited to the first 8 or so easily obtainable harmonics of each string, many patterns were re-tuned precisely using a piece of software to produce higher harmonics such as 11, 13 etc. You could say that the soundtrack metaphorically supplies the overtone-strings to the normal strings of the live player. Overstrung was originally written for Monica Germino and commissioned by Gaudeamus Muziekweek/Muziek Centrum Nederland and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

— Donnacha Dennehy, Dublin, 2010

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