Solo cello in the Barrio
Eric Byers combined cello with laptop electronics very effectively.
Bonnie Wright kicked off the Fall schedule of her Fresh Sound series on Sept. 13 at brand-new venue Bread & Salt with a full, enthusiastic house taking in an amazing performance of solo cello + electronics by string virtuoso Eric Byers.
Byers opened the first piece with tremolo bowing, slow trills, and subtle sampling via laptop--repeating back certain ideas in different registers for a chamber group effect. He continued with left-hand hammering over an open-string, looped and layered to create a mesmerizing rhythmic tapestry which he drew yearning arco cries over. There were moments of joyous contrapuntal activity as the various motifs orbited around each other like a hyperactive string quartet.
On the next one, he used short, fast bow-strokes to create a buzzing texture and a rhythmic device to string together a stair-stepped ostinato over which he combined long and short bowing and software looping for interlocked melodies. His upper-register timbre is full and rich, and his low notes had a baritone resonance that filled the room.
Sometimes the computer would drone a single note which he would dovetail with real-time harmonies, others were created one line at a time. Pizzicato arpeggios provided the hypnotic bed for one piece as bowed harmonics and glissandi completed the cycle.
The surgical manner in which Byers used the bow was a joy to experience and the intricate fashion in which he connected his live playing with sampling to conjure real-time string ensemble sonics earned the cellist a long, hard ovation at the evening's conclusion.
Photo by Bonnie Wright
More like this:
- Mallets & Sticks: Ian David Rosenbaum, live — Oct. 2, 2013
- Fresh Sound presents Ian David Rosenbaum, Oct. 1 — Sept. 29, 2013
- Heading into the jazz weekend — Sept. 12, 2013
- Eric Byers: solo cello & electronics, Sept. 13 — Sept. 2, 2013
- NYC Guitarist Elliott Sharp Plays Bonnie Wright's — June 13, 2011