for clarinet, cello and tape

Composition Date: 2003
Genre: Works with Electronics / Multi-Media, Chamber Ensemble (2-9 Performers), Woodwind(s), Bowed String(s)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Tape
  • 1 x Violoncello
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Programme Note:
Tapestry is cast in a traditional mold of three movements which flow uninterrupted. What is not traditional is that a member of the trio is a pre-recorded tape. The tape element is composed entirely with sounds from a recorded studio performance of the acoustic portion of the piece. These sounds on the tape are often altered in various ways to create colours and textures that differ from the natural sounds of the clarinet and cello. This approach was used to create a sound world that blurs the distinction between the sound made by the performers, and the sound played through the speakers.
Using live performers and pre-recorded sound together in the same piece presents many interesting challenges to the composer and performer. I find the medium interesting, as pre-recorded music maintains an overwhelming presence in our daily lives, sometimes not as a substitute for live music, but as an entity to be enjoyed in itself. Having the chance to incorporate tape into a piece with live performers introduces an amazing array of possibilities, as the tape is capable of producing a pallet of sound that exceeds any other medium, limited only by the imagination of the composer.
The piece begins with a quiet texture produced by the instruments on stage, which is taken up by the tape and shaped into two “waves” of timbre. From this encounter, a dialogue grows between the cello, clarinet, and tape. The tape assumes a responsive function for the majority of the first movement, emphasizing textures initiated by the instruments.
The interlude is somewhat homophonic in texture, focusing on harmonies based on clarinet multiphonics. The tape plays an important role in the interlude, providing a great deal of harmonic content. Near the end of the short interlude, the instruments, led by the cello, begin to break away from the tape, and launch into the finale.
The finale is primarily monophonic in texture, with strong jazz influences. The main characteristic of this movement is that the tape is not as present, and when it does appear, it predominantly initiates sound that the instruments take up, rather than being mostly responsive. Midway into the work, the main musical source of the movement is revealed; a variation on a sacred Jewish folk song Sholom Aleychem (Peace be with you). As the end of the piece approaches, the tape returns to prominence, and the work concludes with the tape and the instruments playing in unison for the first time.
This piece was awarded the Karen Kieser Prize in Canadian Music in 2003

Premiere Information:
15/09/2005, Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto; Amici Chamber Ensemble


  • Call Number:
  • MI 9213 S784ta
  • Genre:
  • Works with Electronics / Multi-Media, Chamber Ensemble (2-9 Performers), Woodwind(s), Bowed String(s)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • September 2, 2005
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (12 p.) ; 43 cm.
    12 Pages
    Height: 43 cm
    Width: 28 cm
    Parts page count: 15
    2 parts ([15] p.) ; 39 cm.
    Height: 39 cm
    1 tape part (digital); 12 cm.
  • Additional Information:
  • Cello, Clarinet, Tape
    1 - Adagio
    2 - Interlude
    3 - Finale
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Available Products for this piece:

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Tapestry for Clarinet, Cello and Tape: Score
(downloadable PDF)
Tapestry for clarinet, cello and tape by Andrew Staniland (Score)
Printed on demand
Tapestry for clarinet, cello and tape by Andrew Staniland (Score and Parts)
Printed on demand
Tapestry for clarinet, cello and tape
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