Mappa Mundi (guitar quartet with cello)
For guitar quartet with solo cello. Commissioned, premiered and recorded by the Canadian Guitar Quartet with cellist Rachel Mercer. There are audio samples of each piece: Trocodite, Turris Babel, Yperborei, and Hippopodes.
Recording available from ATMA Classique.
"Mappa Mundi portrays four of the many images found on the fourteenth century map of the world that is currently on display at Hereford Cathedral in England. According to the map’s inscriptions (written in Medieval Latin), the troglodytes (Trocodite) lived in caves, communicated by hissing, and caught their prey by jumping. The well-known story of the Tower of Babel (Turris Babel) has been carried to the present day by the Old Testament: a united human race (represented by the guitars) aspires to build a tower to heaven; God (represented by the cello) intervenes and confuses their tongues (the results of which can be heard in the guitar parts at the end). The Hyperboreans (Yperborei) enjoy a carefree, idyllic lifestyle for as long as they please, and throw themselves into the sea when they are tired of living (as portrayed by the cello glissando near the end). The Hippopodes are humans with horses’ feet."
Trocodite (excerpt) from Mappa Mundi - DONKIN