Glenn Stallcop Composer, Performer
Mirror Globe (2012) & Groundhog Day (2013)
For cello and Improvised accompaniment
8 Mins. & 9 Mins.
Mirror Globe and Groundhog Day are available here from American Composers Alliance.
Program Notes with Performance Video
Mirror Globe and Groundhog Day are works for cello with an improvised accompaniment. The accompaniment may be performed on any instrument or instruments and should be freely improvised. The intent of the written music is to provide a focus for interaction between the cellist and improviser(s). The cellist may perform the music as written, without any alteration, but is encouraged to respond to the improvisation with changes in tempo, articulation, tone color, dynamic, as well as embellishments, alterations, elaborations, developmental figures, or even complete fabrications. As a general rule, do not let the music on the page stop you from playing something which you feel inclined to play. The purpose is to encourage a creative dialog between the cellist and the accompaniment. Though it is suggested that, in general, the music is to be performed in roughly the order in which it is written, there should be no constraints or imperatives of time or structure. If the performers wish to dwell on a certain portion of the piece for an extended period, they are heartily encouraged to do so. I also encourage the cellist to take initiative to alter, develop, or further take liberties with the music to encourage and inspire the improviser(s).
Another technique, which is particularly apt for Groundhog Day, is to repeat small passages of varying lengths and to add rhythmic interest. The rhythm of the repeats can be changed and played with. For instance, the opening phrase of Groundhog Day is:
Using repetition and rhythmic variation it could possibly be performed:
There is nothing which is right or wrong. The cellist may be as creative as they are comfortable with. This is meant to be chamber music, so interaction with the improvised accompaniment is encouraged.
Lastly, it should be noted that this music is meant to be performed differently every time. It may be tempting to come up with a version which seems good for the performers involved, and then perform it that way every time. I would hope that performers would resist this temptation and make an effort to keep the performances (and rehearsals) fresh and challenging.
The work may also be performed unaccompanied.
MIRROR GLOBE (2012) Jan Simiz, vc. and Glenn Stallcop, pf. Scottsdale, AZ April, 2013