This work, whose title means “necklace”, is a sequence of fifteen short movements, lasting between nine and ten minutes. Eight of its sections, A to H, form the “string” of the necklace, and are in the form of recitatives which exploit specialised techniques of playing. By contrast, the “beads” are the rather longer sections I – VII, in which emotional and gestural differences are more strongly articulated. Sections A – H centre round the middle of the instrument’s range and focus on the two middle strings to a considerable extent.
The contrast between metrical and non-metrical playing is emphasised by the notational picture. In sections A – H, some use is made of extended ligatures which register the passage of time in seconds rather than metronomically. These “seconds” are not strictly measured, and represent something of a limited ad libitum element in the performance of the piece. A figure in seconds which is circled indicates that this value operates not only for the current bar, but for its successors until another figure supersedes it. In a few contexts, which are quite clear, its operation is strictly localised, however.
– Justin Connolly