Catalogue :: The Leading Edge

Deri Roberts
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Euphonium & Tape

Kuklos, meaning ‘full circle' in Greek, portrays a performer practising alone in an empty hall. This is reflected in the work's three sections, the first of which incorporates the performer walking into the hall and taking the instrument from its case. The piece then starts when the mouthpiece is placed, triggering a delay effect in the tape part. This then continues with sounds associated with an off stage warm up; blowing air through the instrument, checking valves, and long notes. This all becomes intertwined with the pre-recorded tape (digital playback track).

The second section is more virtuosic and incorporates many extended techniques such as multiphonics, half valve glissandi, flutter tongue, and singing through the instrument. This is then followed by a final ‘warm down' section, incorporating the soloist playing a choral before packing away his instrument, and leaving the hall.

The harmonic material of the solo euphonium is based on 2 harmonic series; the first being concert Bb at 58.27Hz, the second introduced later in the piece being concert C at 65.4Hz. For this reason the piece could be described as Spectral in its compositional style. We first hear the introduction of the harmonic series in the tape part as a distant descending scale, and as this moves to the foreground, it slowly starts affecting the soloist's harmonic material.

The tape part was constructed entirely from recorded euphonium sounds played by David Childs. The composer treated these sounds in the studio using a wide variety of manipulative software. Some of which consisted: Ring Modulation, Transposition, GRM, Resonators, Spectral Inverter and delay. Kuklos received its first performance on 28th June 2004 at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama performed by David Childs in the presence of the composer.

The Tape part (and a recording with both Tape and Solo Part) is available as a free download from the DOWNLOADS section of this website.

This publication comes complete with composer biography and performance tips from David Childs

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