There are times when written notation can become a barrier when the sound a composer wants would be difficult to notate and thus be difficult for the performers to perform. In situations such as these, composers have incorporated the use of graphic notation and ad libitum techniques. Ad libitum literally means “at your will.” This allows the performer to play a particular section of a piece and not have to necessarily be in sync with the other performers. The ad lib section may give a performer the freedom to play a repeated pattern in any tempo or to sustain a note as long as the performer wants. Alonly begins with sustained notes in which each choir member can hold a note as long as they want before moving to the next sustain note. Other ad lib techniques that are utilized in this piece in which the performer varies the tempo of a given pattern are osculating between two notes, repetitions of a single note and a big glissando up from one note to another. These techniques create an eerie and other worldly sound world. As a side note, yes the piece was completed on Valentine’s Day and the composer was not alone on that day.
Duration: 4.5 Minutes
Number of pages: 2
Eric D. Sharp
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This piece was premiered by the CSULB University Choir and was conducted by Eric D. Sharp on November 14, 1997 at the Daniel Recital Hall in Long Beach, CA.