Strings and Drones


For this New Sounds, listen to a combination of strings and drones from the likes of American composer Ellen Fullman, the South Indian-born double violinist known as Shankar, (formerly L. Shankar, not to be confused with the late Ravi Shankar), along with Maya Beiser and Kayhan Kalhor.  Ellen Fullman is best known for her work with the long-string instrument (LSI), a curious way of using physics and acoustics to make music.  The LSI is an array of bronze wires (maybe 20 meters or more in length) strung near waist height across a performance space and played by rubbing rosined fingertips while walking between banks of strings.  The overtones of the strings as well as the room interact and make the giant instrument. 

From Fullman’s record, “Through Glass Panes,”   hear one of these long-string instruments, paired with cello, which can sound almost like Indian classical music at times.  Then, there’s also traditional South Indian classical music played on a 10-stringed double-necked violin by Shankar.  Plus, music from Maya Beiser working with Persian fiddler Kayhan Kalhor.  We’ll hear Kalhor’s “I Was There,” based on a melody by the ninth-century Persian Kurdish musician Ziryab.  That, and more.

PROGRAM #3408, Strings and Drones  (First aired on 12/13/2012)                                           






Pancha Nadai Pallavi

Ragam Tanam Pallavi, excerpt [10:18]

ECM 1407

Ellen Fullman

Through Glass Panes

Never Gets Out Of Me [10:26]

Important Records imprec336

Maya Beiser & Kayhan Kayhor


Kayhan Kalhor: I was There

Innova 778

Tracy Silverman & Ferdinand Försch

Super String

L'Arcton 4/2 [14:43]

Klangbilder 3005
Available at ArchivMusic

More information about Ferdinand Försch: