Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Ellen Fullman & Sean Meehan


13 Oct 2006  •  The Arches, Glasgow

What we said at the time…

Over the past 20 odd years, Ellen has invented and refined her unique Long Stringed Instrument.  It is a unique construction involving up to 100 wires strung in tension over great distances; she’ll take up a whole 40m arch at Instal! Pacing up and down between the incredibly long strings Ellen moves as if waist deep in water, eliciting tones by stroking the strings with rosined hands, creating compression waves (rather than plucking).  By doing so she works with ethereal, glassine tones that float and shimmer, ringing with overtones.  It seems that Ellen often sees allegories of water in her work: “there is a flatness in this drama, what I imagine must be like in the middle of an ocean, continually moving yet appearing the same.”

For this specially commissioned performance, Ellen has written a piece with Sean Meehan, an NYC based drummer who has gradually pared down his kit to a single snare.  From it he conjures held pitches of astonishing purity by placing cymbals on the drumhead and gently sounding their surfaces, or maybe he conjures his tones via some form of alchemy; god knows as it certainly doesn’t sound anything like a snare drum.  This might sound highly technical I guess, and it is; but more importantly, I think Sean’s work is some of the most radical and beautiful music you could experience: brave, spartan, a slow motion ritual of intensity and concentrations.  This is a very special, one off performance commissioned for Instal.

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    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0