C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

D0 note (18.35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

F0 note (21.83 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

G0 note (24.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

A0 note (27.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

Cheney, Lisa: When We Speak 



Basic information



  • Program notes: 

    When We Speak for solo cello and electroacoustic track seeks to comment on broader issues surrounding gender inequality and these
    considerations on my compositional practice. Throughout the work the interweaving of many ‘voices’ is present in: my own musical language,
    the music and speech of respected Finnish composer, Kaija Saariaho and the expression of the live cellist and their own literal voice. This, at
    times semi-improvised cello part, weaves its way through an atmospheric soundscape challenging and questioning the role of the live musician
    to blend in, fight against or rise above the sound world. The accompanying recorded musical sounds are extracted from Saariaho’s own
    compositions, with special weight placed upon manipulated excerpts from the solo cello work Sept Papillons.

  • Technical specs: 

    The cello should ideally be amplified, and an optional small amount of reverb added. The amount of amplification required naturally depends on
    the performance space, however it should be audible over the electroacoustic track. At the premiere performance the cello mix was set as send -
    5DB to reverb, snare plate, with a reverb return of 0. It is suggested that performer use a stop watch (or more modern equivalent) to sync with
    the start of the track. In the past the performer has had a front of house assistant press ‘play’ on the track and monitor the mix of levels between
    the live cello and electronics. Where possible the cello output and electronic track output should be mixed in to the same stereo speakers, not
    separate speakers for each output. The use of an electric cello is also welcomed.

    It is the composers hope that the performer will consider themselves intertwined with the musical and socio-political material, as their musical
    response and physical voice are integral to the concept of the work. It is important to consider the questions: “where/who am I in this work?”
    and “who am I speaking for?” The intention is to not only react and to reflect on the messages Saariaho may be trying to convey, but to also
    inject their own voice and musicality in to the performance. At differing times the role of the performer transitions between ‘following and
    reacting’ or ‘leading and reflecting’.




Total number of musicians: 
2-channel electronics
Musicians1st player2nd player



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