Madrigal II (2012)
for Flute and Hammerchord
Claire Duncan, flute; Carson Cooman, hammerchord
Duration: 4 min.
Dedication: for Linnie Cunningham
Publisher: Soundspells Productions
Madrigal II (2012) is scored for flute and hammerchord. Two freely lyrical outer sections surround a more energetic middle.
The hammerchord invented in 2002 by Robert Cunningham of Atlanta, Georgia. The Cunningham Hammerchord (U.S. Patent #6740800) is a keyboard-based stringed instrument employing a unique hammered striking mechanism to produce a tremolo sound reminiscent of the hammered dulcimer or the balalaika. The inventor describes it as follows: “A finger presses a key on the instrument, a hammer propels upward from a string and returns immediately downward from a back-check attached to the key. The hammer then strikes the string and rebounds in tremolo sounding of the note. The speed and pressure of finger touch set the loudness of the note, as in the piano, and the desired tremolo tempo.”