To Carve in Wild Cherry (2012) - 9 minutes
Commissioned by Oliver Coates
for violoncello

Programme Note
To Carve in Wild Cherry
was commissioned by Oliver Coates. It was first performed by him January 29, 2012 at Southbank Centre as part of Harmonic Series.

To Carve in Wild Cherry imagines a lost, folk-cello performance tradition where melodies are exclusively played on one string with the adjacent strings used for resonance and harmony. The piece was inspired by the music of Appalachian composer, singer and dulcimer player John Jacob Niles. The title is drawn from a poem of the same name by Jonathan Williams:

To Carve in Wild Cherry
For John Jacob Niles

30 dulcimers-
one long life

and what I said to the one of wild cherry was
bend a little, break later

where the bamma-gilly and the cow-cumber
flower forever
in a god's eye

out under the sky
out under the sky

Performance History
January 29, 2012 - Oliver Coates, Harmonic Series, Southbank Centre, London, UK