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Christopher Cerrone

Memory Palace

version for percussion quartet and electronics

(2012 [arr. 2015 for percussion quartet])
Duration22'
MovementsI. Harriman
II. Power Lines
III. Foxhurst
IV. L.I.E.
V. Claremont
CommissionMemory Palace was made possible by a grant from the American Composers Forum with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation and is dedicated to Owen Weaver version for percussion quartet commissioned by the LA Percussion Quartet.
PremiereVersion for quartet premiered April 7, 2016 at the Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University
InstrumentationSee preview pages for full instrument details.
Technical requirementsSee preview page for electronics requirements.
PublisherPSNY

Media

Program Note

When I was asked by the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet to write a new piece this past year, I realized that between a forthcoming new work for mezzo-soprano and percussion quartet—Goldbeater’s Skin—and an existing solo percussion piece—Memory Palace—it wasn’t quite my moment to write a third piece in that medium. However, as I spoke to the quartet and got a sense of their musicality and enthusiasm, the thought occurred to me that perhaps I did have something additional to say. I suggested that Memory Palace, which is originally scored for solo percussionist and electronics, could become a brand new work as a quartet. In the original version, one percussionist makes a series of new instruments out of found objects and performs live with resonant electronic drones. The downside of this is that the result is a one-way dialogue between the soloist and the drones. I wondered if by transcribing the drones acoustically—for vibraphone, marimbas, and Tibetan singing bowls—the work could take on a life as true chamber music, with each of the parts truly interacting with one another. In the process, new connections were made: now that the piece features both found objects and more traditional percussion instruments, the piece becomes about the interaction between “found” and “traditional” instruments as much as anything else.

—Christopher Cerrone, Fall 2015, Rome

Below is the original note to Memory Palace:

Almost every object struck, plucked, or blown in Memory Palace, a 22-minute work for amplified percussion and electronics, has to be made by the percussionist. The rest—a few bars from a glockenspiel, three high-pitched crotales, and the kick from a drum set—have been disembodied from their original context.

In the first movement, ‘Harriman’, the performer plucks a re-strung guitar lying on its back—a kind of makeshift dulcimer. The second movement, ‘Power Lines’, is scored for seven slats of wood, carefully tuned by sawing them to the correct length. The third, ‘Foxhurst’, is a forest of bells: tuned metal pipes alongside the aforementioned glockenspiel bars and crotales. The fourth movement, ‘L.I.E.’, adds even more wooden slats, creating polyphony from the homophony of ‘Power Lines’. The last movement, ‘Claremont’, features six blown bottles, tuned to different pitches with varying amounts of water. In each movement, the percussionist also triggers a series of electronic drones using a foot pedal, creating a resonant background aura that enhances the live music throughout.

Each movement is titled for a personally important place. Harriman, NY is where I spent a week camping with two of the musicians who have most influenced me. Against the crickets of the woods, I imaged music of simplicity and familiarity. ‘Power Lines’ is a hard grid of glowing high-voltage wires, their intersecting patterns seen from a moving car. ‘Foxhurst’ is named for the street I grew up on, and uses the windchimes which rang throughout my childhood. ‘L.I.E’ (Long Island Expressway) is another automotive movement, evoking the rumble strips on the side of a highway, their rhythmic pulsing playing against the steady drone of the car’s motor. ‘Claremont’ is the street of my college—with another close friend, I had tuned two full octaves of beer bottles where we kept them as a household instrument.

By stringing these places together, I wanted to create a memory palace, a virtual series of locations I can “walk” through in my head, remember some important things from my life and how they have shaped me.

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Full score and Solo Part (Digital)

Chamber Ensemble Score (Print)

Piano Reduction and solo parts (Digital)

Choral Score Set - 16 copies (Print)
Includes 8 copies of the soprano/alto part and 8 copies of the tenor/bass part.

Score and part (Digital)

Score and part (Print)

Conductor Score (Print)

Full Score/Violin Part (Print)

Full Score/Violin Part (Digital)

Piano reduction and solo part (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Digital)

Video and instructions (Digital)

Study Score in Two Volumes (Print)

Score and Parts (Digital)
Score and part PDF files are delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Soprano/Alto Part (Print)

Full Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the full score is delivered via email upon receipt.

Full Score (Print)
A print edition of the score ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Tenor/Bass Part (Print)

Parts (Digital)
A PDF file of the part(s) is delivered via email upon receipt.

Parts (Print)
A print edition of the part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt.

Solo Instrument Score (Digital)
A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Digital)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Score and Parts (Print)
A print edition of the score and part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. The email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer.

Solo Instrument Score (Print)
A print edition of the score is shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Print)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. Print edition(s) of the full score/performance score are shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Multiple copies are included if the work has more than one player. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Choral Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the choral score is delivered via email upon receipt. The set is priced to allow multiple copies of the PDF to be printed for performance by the purchasing organization only.

Choral Score Set- 8 copies (Print)
Minimum order quantity is 8 copies. Single copies are not available.

Vocal Score (Digital)

Vocal Score (Print)

Choral Score (Print)

Full Score and Solo Part (Print)
A print edition of the score and solo part ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Study Score (Print)

Study Score (Digital)