Steel-grey splinters (2012)
Gráinne Mulvey (b. 1966)
Steel-grey splinters derives its title from the fragments of metal left over from welding two pieces of metal together and also from pieces of lead that remain when the graphite in a pencil breaks. I have attempted musically to reflect these states by the use various piano timbres, for example; the pianist is required to play inside and on the keys, glass or metal rods are inserted towards the end of the piece in order to create another metallic texture and the use of all the pedals have also various blurring effects.
The fundamental note F and its partials are the main sources of pitch material and the piece is in four main sections as follows:
The first concentrates on the bass register with all the piano pedals down.
The second focuses on the middle register heralding the note F and then the extreme registers of the piano.
The third section refers to inside the piano, concentrating on the harmonics based on the note F.
The fourth section culminates in the insertion of the rods mentioned previously.
My sincerest thanks to Matthew Schellhorn, who commissioned the work and to whom it is dedicated.
© Gráinne Mulvey, 2012