The cello concerto which NOCCO will premiere this upcoming weekend was written by Avi Lasser and Garrett Overcash, a music production duo based here in Seattle, WA.
We sat down with Avi to talk a little bit more about the cello concerto.
Can you describe your composition and production process?
In this case, Garrett and I first started by improvising and recording ideas to establish most of the thematic material. We came up with piano/violin versions at first and then we used this as a template for orchestration. Our composition and production process does change based on the genre and the platform.
Was there anything specific about the compositional process writing for the cello and writing for NOCCO?
The process of writing this piece was a bit different from others. As a concerto, we focused on the cello line first to see how the thematic material would translate to both the cello as a solo instrument and Eli’s playing style. We were able to meet with Eli to develop the themes at the studio and rework them before beginning to orchestrate. It was then interesting to take this cello line and orchestrate around it to both feature the soloist line while still highlighting the entire orchestra to act as a chamber ensemble. We tried to treat the cello line as the conductor, while still embracing the idea of the an orchestra without a conductor.
What is your connection to Eli (the soloist) and how was the idea of the concerto conceived?
Eli and I met originally during our undergrad while we were both studying at McGill University in Montreal. Garrett has worked with Eli in various professional settings here in Seattle. We came up with writing a concerto for Eli around when we began to work with Eli as a recording artist for our various projects.
You've composed many works for ballets and dancers. Could you describe how the constraints of synchronizing live players with dancers, or with digital instruments/existing tracks, affects your compositional strategy?
I would say that constraints placed on music composition by other mediums can be seen more as opportunities to find a more creative solution. Creating music across a variety of different mediums and industries is liberating. The specific challenge of each project allows new innovative solutions to be found that in the end informs the writing of the music or the product development behind any project. As far as working to combine music and other mediums such a dance, it is always a challenge to find a common ground where both mediums can speak together. No matter who the client is, music that shows the perspective of the platform it is trying to support is where the most successful composition can be found. Garrett and I try to tell the story and support the vision of the particular artists we work with in order to embrace theirperspective. In regards to digital instruments, it is always motivating to embrace technology as both a part of the compositional strategy and a necessity in order to accommodate the new challenges and technological demands of the clients we work with.
HEVANTI PRODUCTIONS LLC
Hevanti Productions LLCis an audio post-productionhouse that creates original music and sound design for multimedia and produces its own original content. The studio is located in the lower Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, WA, and has been recently renovated and acoustically treated for instrumental tracking and mixing across a variety of industries. To find out more please check www.hevantiproductions.com