The complete title of this work is Keep in Touch (Three Missed Calls for Holy Week). The title should only be listed in a program as such if it is performed during Lent; during other times of the year, Keep in Touch is sufficient.
Download the pre-recorded element HERE
Every dimension of the piece accentuates what Muhly calls the “in-betweenness” of these two strange voices: Antony’s singing and the equally sweet falsetto of the viola. The solo part, with its bow-scrapes and awkward passagework, affectionately emphasises the instrument’s flaws, its unevennesses of tone, and its idiosyncratic character as the neglected middle child of the fiddle family. (Even the percussion on the electronic track is constructed from the little noises a violist usually makes only by accident.) And Antony’s voice, so stately on his own records, is here reduced to abrupt, extemporaneous gestures—mirroring, not alleviating, the viola’s isolation.
© 2007 Daniel Johnson
It is important that the viola be lightly amplified in order to achieve a good balance with the pre-recorded materials. Although the best results have been with a microphone clipped to the bridge, anything to subtly boost the viola’s volume is appropriate provided that both the viola and the pre-recorded elements come out of the same speakers. Because it is usually cumbersome for the violist to trigger the tape start in bar 46 herself, an assistant and/or engineer should be on hand.
© 2007 Nico Muhly