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Studies in Movement
Five Studies for Solo Violoncello

from the opening of Phrases.
The sonic quality of the cello is ideally suited to slow, expressive, languorous music. The instrument is also blessed with a wide compass: a rich sonorous bass register way up into the territory of the violin, and here with a powerful, unique and incisive timbre. But the music contained in these Studies in Movement favours lightness, speed and agility, and that dance-like fleet-of-footness found in the best Baroque performance practice, and notably in the dance movements of the six Cello Suites of J.S.Bach.

Like the Bach suites, these studies are designed for the four and five string cello: the five studies from Set 1 are scored for the conventional 4-string instrument; the four studies from Set 2 explore various scodatura possible with the 5-string instrument.

All nine studies are based on a sequence of 9 consecutive patterns (S85-93) taken from Nicholas Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns. This celebrated thesaurus, beloved of jazz musicians and improvisers, was originally conceived as a resource for composers. Those who have regularly used Slonimsky's resources include such celebrated figures as John Adams and Frank Zappa. Adams has even developed his own software module called The Earbox, which he uses to impose different colours and emotional effects on more conventional scales and patterns. Since 1995 Nigel Morgan has used his own library of Slonismky patterns as starting points for some 14 compositions in collaboration with the computer environment for music composition Symbolic Composer.

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Nigel Morgan, Prudential Buildings, 55 Westgate, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 1BW, United Kingdom Tel: 01924 383017 e-mail: tonalitysystems@mac.com

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