Composer/performer Ellen Fullman has spent the last 40 years developing, adapting and performing on the Long String Instrument, an extraordinary musical apparatus of her own invention. Live performances are rare and always a special event because of the instrument’s grand size and complexity. For “Elemental View,” Fullman’s latest and largest project, there are 134 strings, some of which measure up to 80 feet long. It’s the kind of undertaking ideal for EMPAC, where technical challenges and big ideas are welcomed. The concert presentation takes place at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24 in the EMPAC Concert Hall.
As a listening experience, expect to hear layers of sustained tones with subtle shifts in the timber or character of sound and slow progressions of harmony. In order to create the music, Fullman applies resin to her fingers and uses a gentle touch as she walks the length of the strings. The sound has been compared to that of a Middle Eastern sitar and described as like being on the inside of a grand piano.