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Ayudame (2004)

for violoncello
duration: 7 min.


The title of ayudame translates from Spanish to English as “help me” and refers, in part, to my struggle with composing the piece. I wrote the opening material in 1999 with the intention of developing it into a work for solo cello. However, feeling that I wasn’t technically ready to develop the motive, I set it aside. Five years later, a friend of mine, Claire Bryant, asked me to write her a solo cello piece. I felt that this would be the perfect opportunity to delve deeply into the opening material and see what I could make of it. The result is a seven-minute work that attempts to push the cellist beyond his or her breaking point. The piece begins slowly with motivic emphasis on perfect 5ths. As the motive unfolds, the music gradually accelerates until the cellist is playing out of control. After the music climaxes with a snap pizz on low C, the piece winds down and the opening motive returns with slight modification.