Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts presents CounterCurrent19 - Ellen Fullman: The Watch, Reprise, 2016
Long String Instrument composer and performer, Ellen Fullman, explores the acoustics of large resonant spaces with her compositions and collaborative improvisations. Fullman will literally “play” the iconic atrium of the Philip Johnson-designed Hines College of Architecture and Design building at the University of Houston, an action first performed in1994.
The title, The Watch, references a specific and repeated experience the artist has had involving vigilance and a wristwatch. For the artist, the title is a reminder of the possibility to transcend mundane existence through maintained focused attention. For the Long String Instrument, Fullman has designed a tablature graphic notation that choreographs the position of her body through the harmonic spectrum of upper partial tones that resides in vibrating strings.
With rosin-coated fingers, she bows the instrument lengthwise, drawing out cascading patterns of harmonics that can serve as both melody and harmony. Fullman reminds us that music resides in the movement of air particles. In her work, Fullman says, “resonance is harmony is composition.”