for string orchestra and spoken voice

This piece consists of three consecutive movements -- "Still," "A Darkroom," and "Void" -- inspired by stillness, memory, ancient drones, and mythology. The instrumentation is violin, viola, and voiceover, and the version you're currently listening to contains over 70 eerily-layered violins/violas and one stunning voiceover artist with mellifluous British diction that I'm a little bit in love with. Bristol-based artist Sangam Sharma wrote an evocative script and filmed near-static scenery that she provided me with at the beginning of this project, both of which guided me in the composition process. Both the text and selected visual stills from each movement are provided below.  

An altered version of Monolith is featured in Sangam's new experimental film Mono

My future plans for this piece include arranging it for string orchestra and hopefully performing it live with voice and visual projections. 

NOTE: You may want to listen to this piece with headphones (or at least good speakers), as it contains both extremely quiet moments that laptop speakers won't pick up on as well as loud moments that may blow them out.


 Still from "Still" by Sangam Sharma

Still from "Still" by Sangam Sharma

I. STILL (starts 0:00)

A silent pact. A place of secrets.

The now is gone forever, love.

The archive is what's left my dear.

Frames capturing a deadly record like hours running from the day.

Can you see the blank that lies within?

A life in death, like ghosts they trouble.

A picture of absence here.

Ghost shots.

Ghost sound.

Ghost space.

The memory of all worlds.

A phantom (of the past).

Still from "A Darkroom" by Sangam Sharma

II. A DARKROOM (starts 4:07)

A single image. A single tone. The concept of decay.

No illumination. Static architecture of silence. Buried secrets. The forgotten.

Each cell is a burial chamber. Architecture itself has turned to film.

Perfect darkness, only reflecting black.

The death of space, the death of sound.

The death of the sun, or suns, or nothing, love.

The end of the Earth.

Something other has taken her place in space.

No name.


A still from "Void" by Sangam Sharma

III. VOID (starts 7:35)

There is so much empty space it's like we live in a ghost universe.

Nothing but an ancient stillness. It holds the secret to the future.

In the end there is no beginning.

One day we will all be there but you are still here.

It will be the loudest silence you've ever heard.

What happens at the end of time?

Everything already happened.

I will remember you.


Monolith, as seen in Mono film


Composition, Violin, Viola: Chrysanthe Tan

Voiceover: Scarlet Sweeney

Text: Sangam Sharma

This creation was made possible by Urvi Nagrani, Paola, Lindsay S. Nixon, Allen Tan, Song Tan, Teri Tan, and my generous Patreon donors.

I wrote a blog about the composition process of this piece here.

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