one Sonata, two movements

one cello, two dancers

one graphic score, two interpretations

one collaboration, two approaches

connecting lines:

musical - physical

geometric - musical

choreographer Harriet Macauley,

composer Daniel Ehrlich,

cellist Gage Ehmann,






When I was first learning the Ligeti Solo Cello Sonata, coincidence presented the choreography of George Balanchine, performed by a male/female duet. It was the dynamic between these dancers that evoked Ligeti's tale. She his secret love, a cellist who inspired the first 'Dialogo' movement of the Solo Sonata, rejected this amorous token (a story likely borrowed from that of the 1st Bartók Violin Concerto). But within the dance it was the continuity of line, the articulation of gesture that inspired me: at that moment as a musician, I desired the expressive power of bodies in motion through dance.


Forward to the not-so-distant past: I combined watercolour, pastel, wax, and ink in images that I believe represented my impression of the Ligeti Solo Cello Sonata. Where I saw imitation, composer Dan Ehrlich found inspiration, and he used some of the graphic score pages as compositional sketches for his new solo cello piece, Lines for Gage.


Come full circle: after weeks of planning with choreographer Harriet Macauley, and more weeks of rehearsal with Harriet and dancers PJ Hurst and Joel O'Donoghue, the choreographed Ligeti Solo Cello Sonata and new Lines for Gage met on one program. Here and now, on this site, you should explore. Beyond the product, explore the process that is Ligetilines.


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Why Ligetilines?

Music and dance unfold in time while visual art offers a consistency that allows it to mediate between them. While the Ligeti Solo Cello Sonata served as the creative locus of this project, creating a graphic interpretation of the music enabled responses that are both reflective of and independent from the original music. For its bottom line, Ligetilines uses a graphic score, which creates and communicates as product and process blur.

copyright © 2016 W. Gage Ehmann || site designed and created by W. Gage Ehmann

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