Magic Strings

Magic Strings (1992) is a work for treble voices and piano using a poem by Li Ho, an 8th century Chinese poet. In addition to the unusual sounds produced by the piano (plucking and strumming the strings, and the use of a metal ruler placed directly on the strings), the chorus is called on to clap, whistle and speak. All of the color in the piece heightens the effect of the text, which describes a "witches sabbath". The imagery of the poem is particularly fantasĀ­tic and vivid, and lends itself well to the many sounds of the new music idiom.