Christopher Best

composer ~ educator ~ performer ~ writer


 

Echoes of a Lost Music (2009, rev 2011-2013)

 

 


Echoes of a Lost Music, publicity photo
photo Christopher Best


Guitarist Matthew Marshall, who commissioned the work and gave its premiere in 2009
photo courtesy Matthew Marshall


'In The Flesh', Emma Jane Louvelle's choreography of Echoes of a Lost Music, with music performed live on stage
photo courtesy Nadine Bauer

LISTEN: Complete (earlier version) (Christopher Best: electric guitar)

 

LISTEN: Interview with Sarah Gray on SoundArt Radio (24th June 2011)

 

Music half remembered, half forgotten. Songs absorbed through the womb. The waking remnants of a melody composed in dreaming. The air still moving infinitesimally to every sound that ever was. The echoes; the chord of resonance; the music of the spheres.

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In 2009, I was commissioned by guitarist Matthew Marshall to write something for a tour he was planning of New Zealand. Matthew already had an impressive contemporary repertoire for the classical guitar but had recently embraced the electric as well. Having acquired a Boss DD-20 digital delay pedal, he wanted something that would explore this very different sound world to best effect. Being rather critical of many so-called 'looping' pieces - the way the loops restrict both form and development and often encourage a lazy kind of layering of sound, I resolved to rise to this challenge by researching deeply into the untapped potential of this device. After many months of trial and error, pushing the loop pedal to its extremes, adding EBow (a hand-held electromagnetic device for sustaining notes) and re-tuning the guitar microtonally, I found a music that I'd long felt in my bones but never before quite been able to express; an ambient music, one that dared only to hint at ideas; music that could perhaps go on forever.

The work was premiered in Tauranga, New Zealand, on 5th August 2009 and was subsequently toured around both North and South Island. After I began performing the music myself in June 2011, a succession of revisions and improvements gradually evolved, the piece finally settling on its definitive form by the autumn of 2013. As well as concert performances, the music was choreographed by Louvelle Dance, both dance and music being given live on stage.