Sunday, March 25, 2012

Four String Slide

For this residency I have made a two-string, a three string, and a six string instrument, so I thought I would try to fill in the hole.  I also have a bass scale length, a guitar scale length, and a tenor guitar scale length, so it made sense to me to try out a mandolin scale length this time.  I have been trying to keep in mind that these are all going to be heard together in a particular space, so it is important that they complement each other.  It is starting to look like they will all be tuned to an open D and be mostly played with a variety of slides, so having them live in different registers will make a difference at the end.

Probably the only time they will all be played at the same time will be at the opening on April 5th.  Thereafter the intention is that they will be strummed as people ascend and descend the staircase that the will be installed in, so keeping them all in an open tuning as much as possible will mean that the song that is heard will sound right.

I gave some thought to making an actual mandolin, and to stringing this one with four courses, or pairs of strings, but in the end it didn't seem to be as important as just having the strings tuned where they are.  There is just one piece left, now, and the clock is really ticking.  I need to start installing these pieces pretty soon so that I can start to compose (with help, I hope) the piece that will be played on them.

Here is what the fourth part of the installation sounds like:

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