David Smooke - Composer













return to WORKS Page


Extraordinary Rendition

[Click image to view sample PDF score]

(Vocalist [any voice type] and viola or singing violist [any voice type]), 9 min., 2010.

Extraordinary Rendition is a microtonal song for singing violist or singer and violist. The text for the song was created in the International Phonetic Alphabet and should sound vaguely denotative in a language that defies recognition. The pitch content mimics naturally-tuned scales from various fundamental notes. I am hoping that the piece expresses all possible interpretations of the title.

As I was composing this work, I tried to keep the music as simple as possible. In order to have more notes on open strings, the viola is tuned slightly differently than usual (this retuning is called scordatura). The voice part stays within a limited range, using various effects to create a variety of sounds. The resulting piece is shockingly virtuosic: a fast microtonal piece for violist playing a re-tuned instrument and simultaneously singing in unusual ways.

This piece was composed for Wendy Richman and is dedicated to her with great admiration.