David Fennessy – Panopticon
The 17-minute piece is performed twice, with a short Q&A session with the composer between the performances.
The cimbalom governs the string ensemble in a new work by David Fennessy, performed by Psappha. Every attack on the string of the instrument has a consequence on the rest of the players. Each beat triggers a ripple, much like a stone dropped into a still lake, which eventually reaches the strings: they reflect and magnify its effects. The cimbalom also governs pulse and dynamic and, through its careful exploration of the natural harmonics available on its lowest string, plots the entire course of the piece. The word ‘panopticon’ is usually associated with an 18th-century design concept for a circular prison. Cells were arranged around a central well, from which prisoners could be observed at all times.