Islands for solo 'cello and electronics with Gregor Riddell

A live recording of Islands for solo ‘cello and electronics from the 2014 BEAST concert series at Birmingham University with 'cellist Gregor Riddell.

Islands is a ‘musical drama’, a story told through a fusion of styles. The concerto, symphony, acousmatic music and the song all have their part to play. Though abstract, many of the piece’s themes explore the different aspects of love - a lonely ‘needing, longing’ kind (no man is an island) becoming gradually destructive and giving way to something new, something thankful, a sense of togetherness, completeness.

Gregor and I have worked together for a number of years, presenting pieces at the Aldeburgh Festival and Faster Than Sound. For each collaboration, we have worked to build bridges between the acoustic and the electronic by always beginning with the sound of the ‘cello. By sampling a multitude of sounds from this most versatile instrument, we can construct unique electroacoustic sound-worlds for the music to inhabit, explore and transform as the piece unfolds.

Afternoon rehearsal:

David Ibbett