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Topic: Name this Articulation

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  1. #1

    Name this Articulation

    I don\'t have a web site, or I\'d just post the music and get a direct answer. Instead I\'ll have to describe the articulation and you can tell me what it is.

    I heard it in the score for Pleasantville (Randy Newman). At one point there is a cello solo. The best way to describe his playing is \"with desperation\". The music is very soft, and the melody is at the high-end of the cello\'s range. The musician is forcing this melody out in direct contrast to the soft bed underneath it. At first I actually thought it might be a tremelo because a lot of the bow sound comes out, but I soon realized that it was the timbre that was in great movement. The musician was playing with a lot of vibrato. It might be that it was just heavy vibrato that sounded surreal because it was at the high-end of the cello\'s range, but there was definitely something more to it than just vibrato. I went through all the GOS cello articulations but didn\'t come across anything that sounded that desperate. I think I heard the same type of articulations in The Red Violin.

  2. #2

    Re: Name this Articulation

    Originally posted by His Frogness:
    At one point there is a cello solo. The best way to describe his playing is \"with desperation\"... the melody is at the high-end of the cello\'s range... a lot of the bow sound comes out, but I soon realized that it was the timbre that was in great movement... sounded surreal ... there was definitely something more to it than just vibrato.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">(I don\'t have the music to the movies you mentioned, but I\'ll take on this mystery.)

    Here are some ideas about what you heard:

    The cello is playing close to the bridge.
    The string is actually a double bass.
    The string is actually a viola.

    (My first guess, since you said \"surreal\", was that the cello was muted, and if you want to project a muted string I assume you have to use a great deal of bow since overtones are dampened. But you looked through GOS and I guess you rejected the muted cello as a possibility.)

  3. #3

    Re: Name this Articulation

    I don\'t know the music either. There are so many different sounds one can produce from a cello that don\'t necessarily have a standard term to describe them. But if you find a way to post an mp3 snippet, I might be able to give you an answer.

  4. #4

    Re: Name this Articulation

    Harmonics? naah.. well.. ohh .. I dont know [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Re: Name this Articulation

    Harmonics are unlikely considering the description of heavy vibrato. I was thinking more likely sul ponticello, muted, or both.

  6. #6

    Re: Name this Articulation

    I think that\'s a regular cello sound. There\'s a lot other music going on, so I think the other sounds are coloring the quality of the cello.

    I\'d be curious to hear anyone else\'s take on this, especially people with mixing and recording experience. It sounds to me like the cellist was recorded fairly distant from the microphone. That\'s just a guess.

  7. #7

    Re: Name this Articulation

    I agree, that is just a solo cello, but it\'s forte and espressivo. I think it\'s also doubled softly by viola or violin section, but it\'s hard to tell on these little PC speakers here.

  8. #8

    Re: Name this Articulation

    Alright, I put it up on my friends website. I thought you guys should get a feel for the music first, so the cello starts about 20 seconds in.

    Name this Articulation

    This is going to be funny when everyone says it sounds nothing like what I described ....hehe.

  9. #9

    Re: Name this Articulation

    Yep, I think Skysaw and Adam got it right.

    The cellist is playing expressivo in the higher register at a far distance from the mic, probably directly from his or her seat in the section.

    I\'m not sure whether or not it is doubled. I know that there are strings behind it, but I think it\'s just the cello.


    Jonny [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Re: Name this Articulation

    oh... man.. it\'s... beautiful.... what is the name of this and who did it?

    .. oh yea, sounds like a cellist being a cellist. However, if you guys listen with headphones, there is a very high-pitched sound that is playing along with the cello (I listened over and over and am sure it\'s not just in my head!). That is what\'s giving the cello it\'s heavenliness. Not sure what the instrument is, blends really nicely with the cello though.

    So, my guess is that it\'s just a cello playing esspresivo, as has been guessed, but what is making it sound so mysterious, majestic, heavenly, surreal, and... yea, all those things, is the high-pitched \"something\" THAT I CAN\'T FIGURE OUT... now this is gonna bother me for a long time!!

    - jUnK

    P.S. It\'s not the tremolo violins!

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