Stephen Katz | Flying Pizzicato

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Flying Pizzicato sheet music at Stephen Katz web site

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World: World Fusion New Age: Solo Instrumental Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Flying Pizzicato

by Stephen Katz

Flying Pizzicato is Stephen's way of strumming the cello, one string at a time. But it's not just a technique, it's a revolutionary compositional tool that has inspired the creation of pulse-driven, multi-voice cello music.
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Exodus
7:44 $0.99
2. Seed Story
7:59 $0.99
3. Eight Days of Eve
6:34 $0.99
4. And So Below
4:32 $0.99
5. Decebede
2:40 $0.99
6. Bitterroot Suite
12:50 $1.99
7. Cellocommotion
4:41 $0.99
8. Mini Thanks
1:26 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
All tracks composed, performed, produced, and edited by Stephen Katz
Stephen Katz - cello, hand claps

Recorded by Corin Nelsen at Guilford Sound, Guilford, Vermont
Mixed and Mastered by Corin Nelsen at SynchroSonic Productions, Bremen, Maine

Proscenium print from 19th Century toy stage set
Photographs of Stephen by Dani Fine Photography
Nantucket field photographs by Daniel Sutherland
Design by Stephen Katz

Sheet music of the compositions on this CD, published by CelloCelli Music, is available at Please visit and let me know how you feel about Flying Pizzicato, blisters and all!

Flying Pizzicato [pit-si-kah-toh] is my way of strumming the cello, one string at a time. I started playing this way as a teenager by adapting to the cello what I love about strumming the guitar. I would "break" chords so that high and low strings carved out distinct voices within the beat, as if played by different drums of a drum set. That's why I like to say that when I'm strumming the cello with flying pizzicato, it's as if I were playing four long, skinny, tunable drums.

Track Notes :
I came up with the three-note bass line that runs through Exodus in 1999 after listening to Hamza El Din, and finished composing the piece ten years later. I still listen to Hamza. • Seed Story turned up as a looped improvisation in 2000, and, to this day, almost runs away just before the piece concludes.  • The original sketch of Eight Days Of Eve first appeared on the soundtrack for the video animation short by Beth Fairservis of the same title. I play the opening and closing sections by drumming on the strings with a right hand fingertip. • And So Below is dedicated to my father, Boris Isaac Katz (1923-2005).  • When I made up Decebede in 1974, I would hum the tune while plucking out the bass line. In 2008 I figured out how to play the tune and the bass line at the same time. • The rhythmic signature of Bitterroot Suite came to life in 1995 as a three-beat, broken E minor chord. Fixing this piece in time taught me how inevitable a string of notes can sound if I let them have their way long enough.  • Cellocommotion is dedicated to the band I never had: It’s okay – I’m playing all your parts! • Mini Thanks for listening.

Recording Notes :
Exodus, Bitterroot Prelude, Cellocommotion, and Mini Thanks were recorded without overdubs – a testament to the contrapuntal potential of the flying pizzicato approach! The multi-cello sections of Seed Story, Eight Days Of Eve, And So Below, and Bitterroot Suite are studio renditions of pieces I perform live with the aid of looping hardware. All but two tracks on this CD are debut recordings: a live performance of Bitterroot Prelude, and an earlier studio version of Eight Days of Eve appear on Looking Up (2002).

This recording is dedicated to Beth Fairservis. Thank you, my love, for your faith in me! 

Special Thanks:
Jan Bell Fairservis, Lilian Katz, Olin Songan Fairservis Katz, Kurt Leland, Gail Vivian, Lee Zimmerman, Ben Pegg, Daniel Sutherland, Derek Snyder & CelloCelli Music, Corin & M, Dave Snyder & Guilford Sound, James Heflin, Chris White & The New Directions Cello Association, Erich Husemoller, Stamell Strings, Shirley White, Saliq Savage & Jen Polins, Paul Winter, Susan Werner, Rachael Sage, Seth Glier, Jeff Haynes.

© 2011 Stephen Katz •
CelloCelli Music •

Made in the U.S.A. • All rights reserved.



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