Audio Recording by T.J. Borden (cello) at Valencia International Performance Academy, Spain, July 2016.
SUBSEQUENT performance by Zan Berry (cello), at Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, Massachusetts, July 2016.
The title of this piece comes from Saint Augustine's conception of love: Volo ut sis. In Augustine's view, to love requires nothing less than a complete and selfless affirmation of another's being; to love another person is to wish only for their existence, independent of our will. However in its translation to the contemporary individual, we are left with a syntactic yearning to complete the sentence as I want you to be ___ (eg. I want you to be beautiful, I want you to be better, etc). Explored through a dynamic relationship between performer and electronics that negotiates the fragile space between the self and the other, my piece draws on the internal angst and struggle to know love selflessly.
In the slow and impassionate first movement, the electronics and cello begin in close duet effected by granular synthesis of the cello's gestures, building towards climactic gestures reaching across the entire range of the cello. The relationship between the acoustic and electronic textures is continuously and restlessly evolving, as if the listener is apprehending the piece in media res. The fast and virtuosic second movement begins with violent gestures from the solo cellist, that are later heard in dialectic with soft and beautiful electronics based on sounds in the continuum between harmonics and air tones. Throughout the piece, the electronics employ sample-based synthesis (restricting samples to sounds exclusively generated by the cello) to create vivid and dramatic textures based on processing of extended techniques that both extend the sound world of the cello and blur the distinction between electronic and acoustic sounds.