your wits an E la

by Lawrence Dunn

Available on:

Live at Listenpony: Mainly Two

Recording available now

your wits an E la was commissioned by Listenpony, and first performed at Listenpony #11, March 2016, by Mainly Two.

Of the piece, Lawrence writes:
The title refers to the highest pitch of the Guidonian pitch system, the E la, which is equivalent to the open E of the violin's first string. ‘E la’ was itself a word representing (according to the OED) ‘something “high-flown”’, a place of yearning or elevation. The title comes from a quotation from Thomas Nashe: ‘You must straine your wits an Ela aboue theyrs.’ The open first string itself is never actually sounded in the piece, but it is used as a point of reference for the violinists, as it is the pitch of the top note of the final four-pitch sonority.

See also:
Lawrence Dunn's Habitual (2017), violin solo

Lawrence Dunn

Lawrence Dunn is a British composer, pianist and lecturer based in Manchester.

Mainly Two

From the playful to the melancholic, the brutal to the plain silly, Mainly Two are rejuvenating the world of two violins, summoning a universe of colour from eight strings.