U Mangibeddu Nostru

2019-08-27T20:36:38Z (GMT) by Cat Hope
For Orazio Arena.
For cello, viola, violin, electric guitar, organ, cor anglais, percussion and turntable. Cello, viola, violin double on harmonicas.
​Written for the Herz Ensemble, commissioned by the Eduard van Beinum Foundation, at the request of Kate Moore.

You can listen to the premiere, recorded by NPR Radio 4, Netherlands, here.

Program Note

I became familiar with the Tarantella during the time I lived in Sicily in the 1990s, where I was fascinated by the idea of Tarantella as a ‘curative’ dance performed by pairs of women in villages on the slopes of the active volcano in Sicily, Mount Etna (Mangibeddu in Sicilian). This piece uses the Tarantella to link my current life in Australia to the formative years I lived in Sicily. A vinyl record of Tarantella, found in a Sicilian market, and ‘prepared’ with a personal note etched into the surface. The graphic score is made of colours extracted from the cover of that record. All that remains of the dance form – its frenetic energy and 6/8 rhythms - resides in this modified record – and the work is instead underpinned by low frequency sounds and drones, the result of years of listening to the mystique of Mangibeddu, and thinking about the impact this important place has had on my life and friendships.

performance instructions
The starting dynamic is medium soft. The widening of the line indicates an increase in volume and density of texture. The score is proportional, and Middle C is provided as a guide but all references to it should be approximate. No vibrato unless marked. Static. You may change the tuning of your instrument.
The guitar should use a Freeze, Loop, distortion and tremolo pedal/switch (Morricone style). The use of the pedal is indicated with a letter inside a square.
The turntable part is indicated with a black line. Use a small ‘single’ record of a Tarantella and write your experience of sility on it so that the record is very scratched, or use one provided by the composer. Alter the volume as indicated. Play the 45 at 33rpm or even slower if possible. When the line stops, that indicates lifting the stylus up. Restart at any point of the record, making sure to leave enough record to play through. You may move the stylus during the playback part.
The organ should have a volume pedal and tremolo switch. The percussion part consists of crosses (non-pitched strikes – cymbals, bass drum and other objects: ignore middle C reference) lines (bowed cymbal and vibraphone).