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Electric Chair Music / Time & Motion Study II

Electric Chair Music, which has just been released on DVD, brings together two pieces: Time & Motion Study II, for Cello & Electronics by the avant-garde composer Brian Ferneyhough, filmed on location during the recording of the piece for Metier records, & a documentary in which the composer discusses the work with cellist Neil Heyde & composer Paul Archbold, who contributes its electronic components. This demanding work, involving the cellist being attached to microphones & surrounded by a battery of speakers, while vocalising texts derived from (but unrecognizable as) the writings of Antonin Artaud, is one of the most challenging works in the contemporary repertoire. The documentary Electric Chair Music – Ferneyhough’s working title for the piece – is a valuable companion piece to the performance in that it helps to contextualize & to some extent explain the composer’s working methods. It is available, price £12.50, from Academy Chimes Bookshop at the Royal Academy of Music.