Trio for Cello and Digital Processor

premiered 4/22/91

Bridges Hall, Pomona College,

Tom Flaherty, cello

  “Bridge's new CD of music by Tom Flaherty was my introduction to this L.A.-based cellist/composer. While the disc offers a variety of chamber music combinations including two duets for two pianos, the piece I find myself coming back to most is his 1991 Trio for Cello and Digital Processor (which should be a duet right?). The Trio, according to the booklet notes, makes references to repertoire as disparate as J.S. Bach's Es ist Genug and Edgard Varèse's Poème electronique, but (in a rare non-analytical moment) I was too busy being saturated by the textures to notice or care.”
– FJO, NewMusicBox
  “Flaherty's Trio for Cello and Digital Processor had his instrument communicating with itself. The effect actually suggested the presence of three players rather than just the one who appeared on stage. An impressive tour de force.”
– Peter Jacobi, Herald-Times (Bloomington, IN)
  “In the Trio for Cello and Digital Processor the rhythmic layers of his solo suite are electronically magnified beyond a single performer's conception.”
– Ken Smith, The Gramphone


Trio for Cello and Digital Processor plays with rhythmic hockets and explores the sonorous possibilities of the cello.

The digital processor is not intended to actually alter the cello sound in any significant way; rather, it sends the cello sound to the left and right speakers a half second and a full second later than the original acoustic sound. The resulting piece is in effect a cello trio, although it would be virtually impossible to accurately coordinate three live players to the degree required in the piece.

The piece's harmonic palette is wide; at various points references to music as diverse as Varese's Poeme Electronique and Bach's chorale Es ist genug are incorporated into the texture.

Music of Tom Flaherty

Vorarlberg Resonance
Karl and Margaret Kohn, piano four-hands

Peter Yates, guitar; Tom Flaherty, cello

Trio for Cello and Digital Processor
Tom Flaherty, cello

Tom Flaherty, cello

Quartet for Viola, Cello and Digital Processor
Cynthia Fogg, viola; Tom Flaherty, cello

Time to Travel
Karl and Margaret Kohn, pianos


Trio for Cello and Digital Processor

performed by Tom Flaherty, cello

SEAMUS Volume 4

audio excerpt

score excerpt

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List of Works