ÆTER – for stringed ensemble (2023)

ÆTER is a piece for stringed instruments and EBows. The piece seeks electronic and eerie sounding timbres in an acoustic setting, using EBows to activate the strings of the instruments in use.

An EBow (short for electronic bow) is an electromagnetic battery driven device. The EBow constructs an inductive string driver feedback circuit, which forces the strings to vibrate without touching them physically with your hands. EBows are traditionally used within rock music on electrically guitars in order to get long sustained tones. In the piece ÆTER, the EBows are not used virtuostic, but rather in order to seek out new timbres and structures of well known instruments.

The title ÆTER refers to the rarefied element ether that was hypothesized by the ancients as to fill the upper regions of space. The etherical sounds of ÆTER, that at times appear uneasy and dizzying, also send associations to the liquid used, especially in the past, as an anaesthetic to make people sleep before a medical operation.

ÆTER  was commisioned and premiered by Ensemble Lydenskab at DOKK1 in Aarhus Denmark in february 2023. The ensemble consisted of a guitar, a bass, a piano, a violin cello and a violin. In this version, two zithers were also included.

The piece can be performed for any stringed instrument that can be activated with an e-bow.  Score available.

ÆTER was supported by The Danish Arts Foundation and KODA

Sound extract of ÆTER, performed by LYDENSKAB, 2023