Neal Farwell - composer - conductor

Three Friends

for two-channel fixed media (2000)

I Postcard to Pedro
II reBecCa
III scherzo a sinistra di erica
IV Finale and chat-rooms

This piece started from improvisations by three friends of mine: Pedro Rebelo on piano, Rebecca Chard on bass clarinet, and Heather McNamara on piano accordion. These are all instruments that I love, and the recordings we made contain lots of rich musical ideas. Putting these sounds into the computer, I can transform them and make them behave in strange new ways… The instrument sounds are still clearly there, but they take part in a theatre, a game of associations and memories. I try to play out multiple strands, some of them obviously musical, some more “about” music, some veering off in other directions.

The recordings were made at different times, and the first three movements of Three Friends treat each instrument separately. The players come together for the first time in the virtual world of the Finale and chat-rooms. They are free to exchange ideas and pretend new identities…

As a “tape piece”, Three Friends can only be heard over loudspeakers: but it’s really a celebration of live music and musicians.

The sound excerpt is the third movement, scherzo a sinistra di erica. The full work is 18 minutes long.

The four movements of Three Friends were premièred at different times 1997-2000.
The complete work has received multiple performances in the UK and USA.

Technical information:
Three Friends is a stereo acousmatic work. It can be listened to on any good stereo system, but is composed also to be rewarding to interpret and to hear in multi-loudspeaker concert diffusion.