Dance Figures

from Dance Figures.

Dance Figures employs all nine patterns, but the patterns are reduced to six-note scales. These scales create a kind of continually shifting warp of tonality colour across which is woven a weft of ‘picks’ of different lengths and frequency. The analogy with weaving is significant: the ‘pitch’ warp maintains a set of 10 ‘ends’ giving the music a set beat pattern and count. The cellist acts like a dancer placing movement and gesture on particular beats of the 10-count phrase. These ‘dance figures’ sound out as short dynamic bowed gestures accompanied by an ostinato of open strings played with left-hand pizzicato. It is possible to see many examples in handwoven design of this kind of construction, particularly in the woven creations of Anni Albers (wife of the artist Josef Albers).