Simon Steen-Andersen (1976)

Study for String Instrument #2 (2009)

for a string instrument and whammy pedal

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2009
    • Duration: between 5 mn and 6 mn
    • Publisher: Edition·S

Premiere information

  • Date: 10 December 2009

    Allemagne, Berlin, Kulturbrauerei


    l'Ensemble Mosaik.

Program note

Study for String Instrument #2 from 2009, immerses itself in a single idea and explores an apparently straightforward and in principle rather unmusical electronic device. The "Whammy" guitar pedal (from Digitech) is a kind of over dimensioned guitar vibrato arm that can "bend" a note as much as two octaves up or down, but which is also considered rather imperfect as a mechanism. It both distorts the notes as it bends them, and when it is challenged with noise and impulses it surprisingly produces melodies that are anything but logical and mechanical. Study for String Instrument #2 takes a very simple course, although it can be difficult to understand from the intense soundscape that an electric guitar, a cello and an effect pedal only play it. In the first part the notes slide up and down in a little play where the various possibilities in a simple system are exhausted - adding and subtracting the glissandi of the string instrument and the pedal. After this the Whammy pedal is assaulted by constantly changing noises from the two instruments, before the pedal itself is allowed to conclude the piece by playing its own singable melody – molto cantabile...