Amplified Cello
Duration: 15:00
YouTube Scrolling Score
YouTube Live Performance, Craig Hultgren




“The standout piece on Tightly Wound is drowningXnumbers. It is an angular, rhythmic combination of acoustic sounds and technological enhancements. All of the sounds are produced by the cello using traditional techniques, and are then enhanced or made more effective by the amplification. Of all the pieces offered, this is where Hindman’s punk/grunge influences are most obvious.”
~Kathleen McGowan, I Care If You Listen, June 5, 2018

“Birmingham’s new music ambassador Craig Hultgren performed a captivating array of works for cello with video accompaniment, the best of which was Dorothy Hindman’s “drowningXnumbers.” Intense, gripping, frenetic at times, it held the listeners in rapt attention.”
~Michael Huebner, “Arts alternatives presented aplenty at festival’s New Arts, Oasis stages,” The Birmingham News, Sunday, May 26, 2002

“The opening composition, Dorothy Hindman’s “drowningXnumbers” (1994) for amplified cello, won the 1995 NACUSA Young Composers’ Competition. Hindman wrote the piece for Craig Hultgren, who plays the work brilliantly, covering the full dynamic range and a variety of moods. From the fire and aggression of the first section, through a percussive middle, to the quietly desolate conclusion – Hindman and Hultgren take the listener on a fascinating and colorful journey. “drowningXnumbers” is a piece which deserves to be played and heard more often.”
~Jeremy Beck, “CD of the Living Music,” 20th Century Music, October 1997

Tapping The Furnace “This CD features US composer Dorothy Hindman. … Highlights are “drowningXnumbers” performed by cellist Craig Hultgren, a complex work that gradually dissipates, and Tapping the Furnace, a very interesting percussion piece that calls for vocalizations and increasingly muffled sounds.”
~Monsieur Délire: Dorothy Hindman, Gino Robair, Meichel/Dadge, Moondoc/Crothers, July 7-8, 2013

Program Notes:

“drowningXnumbers” (drowning by numbers) was written during a residency at Atlantic Center for the Arts in December, 1994, for cellist Craig Hultgren, who asked for a piece for amplified cello.  The piece exploits the effects made possible by amplification, and also incorporates virtuosic effects which were inspired by Craig himself.   It is a continuous, fifteen-minute work divided into three main sections, each with a faster tempo but longer note durations than the preceding.  The first section is unforgivingly aggressive, the second is more percussive but less frantic, and the third is increasingly quiet, desolate, and still.   The work is the composer’s response to the large amount of aggressive music being composed by her colleagues.  It reflects some of her own beliefs about beauty, emotion, intention, and profundity in music.  While the title suggests an obvious metaphor for the work, it is a reference to a film by Peter Greenaway, and even more a reference and grateful acknowledgment to composer Louis Andriessen.

Premiere: April, 1995
Craig Hultgren, cello
Auburn University
Montgomery, AL
Commissioner: Craig Hultgren

Tightly Wound: Music for Strings, innova Recordings – 965, Distributed digitally wherever music is available
Tapping the Furnace, innova Recordings – 848 – 2013, Distributed by Naxos USA
In Yet Longer Light’s Delay, Living Artist Recordings No. 1, Distributed digitally wherever music is available

Publisher: Subito Music Distributors