This started out as a flute piece and eventually turned into a violin piece. I think it's pretty easy to tell when I made the switch, which I chose to do for two reasons: one, I wanted to see what it would sound like on violin, and two, I had the opportunity to work with a professional violinist who was visiting my school. I really like how it turned out. This recording I have isn't perfect, but it's an incredible representation of my intent. I'm still editing the score a bit as far as some of the technical details go. I'm always open to suggestions.


Please let me know what you think!

Rhapsody for the Cult of the Sun_PSS128.mp3

E'Narda McCalister - Rhapsody for the Cult of the Sun.pdf

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    Hi E'Narda',

    Not too bad a piece but it feels like its not sure what it wants to do. For me it sits in the middle ground between being interesting by being slow and not doing much (Feldman, Part etc) and being interesting because it does a lot (Boulez, Messiaen etc). I would suggest stepping back from it a little and trying to work out what the piece is about. You have loads of ideas in there that you dont fully explore it almost seems like you are afraid of dwelling on something for too long. The first one that springs to mind is the arpeggio section 'storm rise'. You could make a whole piece out of just that one idea. Have a listen to (sept pappilons by Saariaho, 7 short pieces for solo cello) from about 1min 25 to 2min 40 as an example of what I mean how she has an idea and sticks with it for about 1min 30. As you are trying to conjurer up the idea of a storm think of everything that goes with that how long a build up a storm actually takes, the expectation, the tension built up and held to almost breaking point before the crack of thunder and the rain appear. Think of trying to hold onto that tension for as long as possible before letting it go.

    Right I'll stop there. I know I've rambled a bit about one point but I hope its been useful.


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  • Thanks for your response! You've provided me with some very helpful information and an incredible piece I hadn't heard before. I love the range of techniques that it calls for, and I really want to begin to try to pull those unfamiliar sounds out of these instruments. This rhapsody of mine is a sort of beginning for me. Oh, and most of the "narrative" details of this piece were added after the fact, as guidelines, but I do understand how there can be a degree of disconnect.


    Thanks again!

  • Its a really difficult piece to play (the cellist needs massive hands!) but its so effective. Have a listen to this her cello writing I think is amazing.

    Maybe if you are going to add such narrative details you could write the piece, decide what those details are going to be and then go back and make sure the piece does what the narrative is saying or make it more explicit?


    No problem, I'm glad you've found them useful.

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    Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.
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