Commissioned by Diego Castro Magaš
I met Diego when he was completing his PhD at the University of Huddersfield. He is an absolutely astonishing player with an amazing commitment to new music. He has played existent music of mine before and recently brought his incredible interpretation of my 2011 piece, bet mayram, to //hcmf in 2014, subsequently recording it for the HCR label [available here]. Working with him on the performance/recording project was an absolute joy and privilege, so when Diego approached me about writing something new - this time for electric guitar - I was obviously thrilled to be involved.
Preliminary sketches for [habitat] see the instrument lied flat on a table and played almost like a piano, both hands tapping the strings throughout the entire composition. The idea is to treat each hand like its own organism - with its own wants, needs and ethology. Placing the two organisms on the same instrumental canvas (the electric guitar) forces a habitat to emerge, the two having to work around, against and with each other in order to survive.