Lauda (con sordino)
This short piece for cello and piano, with an optional part for electric guitar, was written specially for Audrey Riley, who has performed pieces of mine on a number of occasions in the past - notably with Icebreaker (The Archangel Trip) and with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (Biped). The optional guitar part is for James Woodrow who has been a member of my ensemble for almost ten years and whose playing I love.
Over the last year or so I have begun to write a number of pieces for unaccompanied voice based on the texts and format of the lauda, a large collection of which appears in a manuscript collection from 13th century Cortona. These were quasi-religious (but non-liturgical) songs which were sung outside churches and in other public places. In setting these texts I do not imitate the style of the original but rather the spirit and form. As these were in my mind at the time I wrote the piece for Audrey I modified the form - adding accompaniment, parallel lines and so on - while attempting to retain the purity and austerity of the original.
The piece is dedicated to Audrey.