Vanished into the Clouds (雲隠) (2013)

Vanished into the Clouds (雲隠) (2013)
For cello or viola and live electronics


Score and electronics available by request

– Jason Calloway (cello) and Jacob David Sudol (live electronics)
Studio Recording

– Ammie Brod (viola) and Jacob David Sudol (live electronics)
Live Recording (University of North Texas, 2015 International Computer Music Conference)


Program Note:

Vanished into the Clouds (雲隠) takes its title from a chapter in the ancient Japanese novel The Tale of Genji.   This chapter is significant because it has no content.  There are two theories about this chapter.  The first theory is that the chapter is lost.  The second theory, and the one that I prefer, is that the chapter was left intentionally blank so as to express the narrator’s sorrow about the death of Genji which occurs between the end of the preceding chapter and the following chapter.

Unlike the aforementioned chapter, this work for cello and live electronics is not left blank.  This said, many conventions of music such as melodic or motivic development, clear phrase structure, and rhythmic motion are regularly obscured and ignored.  The resulting work instead focuses on exploring the inner sonic regions of the cello’s open and muted C string, sudden ruptures in motion, and the gradual degradation of material.  The goal of this approach is to create a sort of new musica povera that reflects on both a narrators’ or authors’ difficulty of writing as well as the sort of inequalities of wealth that pervade our world.

The work was written for and premiered by the magnificent cellist Jason Calloway and is dedicated to him.  The viola version was written for and premiered by my dear friend Susan Ung in Cambodia.

– Jacob David Sudol
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
July 28, 2013