Colour Coded

This is a project for solo cello with extend performance techniques. I chose to do this after watching my friend and flatmate Matthew Philips and his Quintet performing in the Boccherini concert. I was inspired to work with strings and wanted to experiment with string extended techniques as it is not something that I have done before.

I was inspired to use extended techniques because this concert had used them embedded into the piece. I started the process for this piece by researching the different techniques that can be performed on a cello.

Boccerini Concert – February 2019

I wanted to use techniques that would mean the performer clearly had to change their performance style. I chose to use the following:

  • ‘Silent’ fingering
  • Pizzicato
  • Bowing on the tailpiece
  • Playing behind the bridge
  • Sul Tasto
  • Sul Ponticello
  • Col Legno

Each of these techniques is linked to a different colour in the score. Choosing to present it in this way meant that I could use a lot more frequent changes in playing style . As well as making the score a lot more clear for the performer to read once they had learnt the music.

I chose to be very restrictive with the melody line for this piece. This was because I wanted to have the main focus of this piece on the different capabilities of a cello. This makes the performance of this piece a lot more visual as well as aural.

Recording session – Matthew Philips

A recording of this piece took place on the 3rd March 2019 in the Recital Hall at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

The premier performance of this piece was at the Birmingham New Music concert on the 10th April 2019.

Catherine Mole · Colour Coded