GlassFireFlower is inspired by, and was premiered beneath, Dale Chihuly's blown-glass art installation Birmingham Persian Wall which is part of the Birmingham Art Museum's permanent collection. The sounds are meant to mimic what sounds this installation would make, were it to make any sounds at all.
For the beginning of the piece the guitar is "prepared" with a small gauged wire woven in the strings at the seventh fret. A straightened paperclip works well. Open prepared strings are indicated by an "x" notehead at the pitch of the open string. For example, being given an E below the staff, with an "x" for a notehead suggests playing the open prepared sixth (lowest pitched) guitar string. This produces a very rattled and jangled harmonic that sounds a 12th higher than the note given. Normal noteheads in sections where the guitar is prepared indicate notes stopped higher than the seventh fret (thus producing ordinary notes, as written). Triangle noteheads indicate a sharp slap on the lower front bout, producing a high percussive sound. Squares indicate lower sounding percussive notes played on the soundboard of the instrument.
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