ArticulationsThe LCO Strings, as we said, are dedicated to a series of sounds that are at all unusual. However, there is a series of basic articulations that can be used as a starting point to move away from. They are called Vivid Long, Vivid Staccato and Vivid Spiccato, Vivid Staccato Dig, and they are sostenuto or staccato sounds of remarkable intensity.
Vivid Longs have a dry but very expressive sound. This example is recorded without any reverb added to Mix 1 from the original library.
Staccato and spiccato do justice to the vividness that is in their name. They are clear, intense, deep, incisive, sharp. They can sound great with epic ostinatos. The reduced size of the ensemble makes them more agile than puny, lacking the typical heaviness of a large orchestra.
The longs lack any form of legato, which in short passages can be easily hidden, but could become a problem in more lyrical passages. Passages perhaps not often requested to a library of this kind.
Although the legato is missing, a careful overlapping of the end and beginning of the legato notes can allow a good general fluidity.
“Of this kind”: not the most appropriate definition, given that we are in a very unique domain, without many possible analogies. An articulation completely new to us are the Open Detuned, apparently obtained artificially detuning the instruments to a non-tempered scale, and sampling the empty strings on each note of the scale. The violins, for example, start from the E under the usual G on the fourth string. Playing on the open strings makes the sound completely free of vibrato. There is a profound sense of primordiality, of genuinely authentic brutality.
The other articulations are no gentler. The Granular series are obtained with the bow sinking into the string, probably molto sul tasto, to produce an uncertain pitch and a very “scratchy” sound.
Some “granular” type articulations - scratchy, rough, extremely incisive.
The Slackened seem to be performed with slower-than-normal bowing speed, resulting in inaccurate intonation, creating a very dissonant ensemble sound. In the shorter version the bow seems to start al tallone, and to be abruptly released, starting with a higher pitch and gradually decreasing as the pressure on the string is reduced. It seems to be hearing the whole instrument calming down after the initial explosion of harmonics and body resonance, with the whole soul of wood and steel that, abruptly solicited, gradually subsides.
Slackened shorts and longs are particularly dissonant ones.
There are different types of slow, irregular vibrato (Woozy Vibrato), with different speeds of oscillation. The non-measured version has something crazy, unpredictable. Crazy is equally the Long Twitchy, with the irregular bowing, and the Spectral Scrubs, probably obtained by brushing the string with the bow.
The Super Pont Scrapes are particularly sharp, and are an effective pendant to the the Molto Sul Pont long articulation, performed not close, as in a normal sul pont., but directly above the bridge. The core pitched sound disappears almost completely, giving place to a fragile, nearly imperceptible and disturbing hiss.
”Fragile” articulations, interrupted by the abrupt appearance of the Super Pont Scrapes.
There are also some transitions (from granular to normal and vice versa, or from non-measured tremolo to normal), that are absolutely impossible to sequence in a credible way by trivially crossfading between fixed articulations.
intro | overview | lco | recording | articulations | ostinatum | conclusion