Spins and Spells

Spins and Spells

Commissioned by the Association des Concours internationaux de la Ville de Paris.
Publisher Chester Music Ltd
Category Solo Works (excluding keyboard)
Year Composed  1997
Duration 7 Minutes
Orchestration Cello
Availability Sale

Programme Note
Spins and Spells (1997)

The title evokes the two gestures which are at the origin of the work: on the one hand the pattern which I call “spinning tops” turning around on the one spot or undergoing changes, and on the other, timeless moments, centred on the sound colour and texture.
The entire piece unfolds either around or between these two gestures. I chose to re-tune the instrument in order to personalise the harmonic writing: the fifths are replaced by structures favouring major sixths and minor thirds.
Challenged by this scodatura, the sonority of Spins and Spells reminds me of the music and the instrumental colours of another age, far older than those of the cello that we know, although seen and transformed again through my own universe.

Kaija Saariaho, 26th June 1997