slapback

Michael Fiday

Year

1997


Duration

11'


Instrumentation

electric guitar - delay unit


Genre

Guitar with Live Electronics or Computer


Dedication

John Tamburello


Commission

American Composers Forum, Jerome Foundation


Premiere

Berlin, Germany, Sophiensaele, 21 January 2000: Seth Josel, electric guitar


Publisher

Manuscript


Comment

Performance of this work requires a program switch and distortion.


Source

score; premiere program; composer homepage;


Details

In recent years I've become very drawn to the idea of writing music that is, in one way or another, about the kinds of music I love. In 1997 I was given the opportunity to write an electric guitar piece for guitarist John Tamburello. After frantically culling through my record collection for possible raw material I finally hit upon two aspects of Pete Townshend's guitar work in particular. One was an archetypal 2-chord declamation which is a harmonic building block throughout the piece. The other was a technique used on the Who's Live at Leeds performance where, during an extended solo, Townshend seems to create an antiphonal environment by responding to the echo which rebounds from the back walls of the auditorium - as if conversing with his own shadow. This led to the idea of writing a piece for guitar and digital delay in which the delay is set so that only one "echo" (or "slapback") occurs after the initial attack. With the exception of one passage, the delay is maintained throughout the entire work so that it becomes, in essence, a 50-50 partnership between the guitarist and the delay unit. Slapback was underwritten by the American Composers Forum with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation.
- Michael Fiday -