Written for Platform 2019, in collaboration with Zwerm and The New What Now.
for prepared electrical guitar quartet - 8 minutes
In Fashionista's I explore the possibility of moulding the art of knitting into a contemporary music piece. The players are asked to prepare their instruments with craft materials, to hit their guitars with needles and to sonically embody the evolution of clothes-making: from traditional handwork to industrial production. I carefully picked the objects that are used for the preparation. All of them are in some way related to needlework. The range varies from using strings of wool and security pins to more specific materials such as needle point protectors and stitch holders.
The performance starts with a guitaresque tea party where all players are working on their own "projects". All rhythms are based on existing knitting patterns, creating polyrhythmic structures of sound blocks that tune in and out of one another. This also happens quite literally: although the guitars are partly detuned due to the preparations, there is an underlying chord structure that sometimes comes forwards and at other times is completely undistinguishable.
As the piece continues, the crafty sound world evolves and becomes more and more industrial. The tea party is dissolved and replaced by a spacey section with alienating sound effects and alternative tunings. Later the players get up, put their guitars on a table and start drumming on them with knitting needles. The polyrhythmic structures return and become more and more unified until the four players perform en bloc. Empowered by each others’ drive, the craftsmen work harder and harder - but at what speed lies the breaking point?
Interested? Contact me for a recording and the score of this composition!