Fuze - Program Note

Fuze is a work scored for violin or electric violin and audio file playback. The playback component originated as a separate piece for ‘tape’ entitled Submerged Echoes. The earlier work is a soundscape composed using audio samples recorded from Tectonic Shift, a sonic sculpture created by Nova Scotian blacksmith John Little. The samples were manipulated primarily through pitch shifting and splicing. I felt that the samples hardly needed any DSP processing since the sonority of the instrument is so rich and reverberant: it has a natural reverberation of 8 seconds, much like a large cathedral. An image of Tectonic Shift is below. 

The instrument is quite large, measuring approximately nine feet in length, eight feet at its highest point, and weighs approximately 200 pounds. It can be played using the hands, various mallets or by using its stainless steel bow (leaning against the instrument in the picture).

For the composition of Fuze, I extended the playback part of Submerged Echoes and fused to it a solo violin part. The added violin both becomes a part of the soundscape and gives it a more subjective perspective. The title also refers to the prevalent sounds of shrieking metal heard throughout.