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Let Fade Completely
for two electric guitars

Work no. 175


    In this piece, two electric guitarists play using delay pedals. This means that one starts, and then the delay pedal picks up what was just played, and plays it back, in an endless loop, the same music over and over. The second guitarist starts playing, and the same happens with his delay pedal. At first, the musicians play freely, accompanied by the pedals, but after a while they both succumb to slavishly imitating the music in those loops, and eventually it's two guitarists and two pedals playing the same thing over, and over, and over again. Something breaks then, and distortion effects kick in, freeing the guitarists; they're still using delay pedals, but are no longer slaves to them; they're so independent that at some point the guitarists stop playing, and you can only hear the two pedals making music. Finally the guitarists join back in, and the music drowns in the perfect fifth, played incessantly, as many times as the performers want.

    This piece was part of a trilogy of melancholic works for electric guitars – the other two being Alguien and an untitled piece (Work No. 176/2021) – composed in early 2021. Unlike the other two, Let Fade Completely is less personal and more sociological in inspiration. I was thinking about how living in a society makes it necessary to conform to that society's standards, and how this can be difficult for certain people. A person might fall in love with someone of the wrong faith, for example, or choose a vocation unacceptable for their family. A society works best when everyone conforms, of course, but when our leaders abuse their power in creating and enforcing societal norms. Then those who conform become infected with hatred, passivity, xenophobia... to be used by the corrupt leaders. In my music, this outcome is avoided, but exactly what happens at the break, I can't say, nor can I say where this music leads ‐ the ending is an ambiguous interval which could resolve into anything.

    I've been asked several times about the title of the piece. It's open to interpretation. It may be that you have to let some societal norms fade in order to pursue your dreams. But it may also be that there is no hope for our society, and it's best to let it fade completely before too many people are hurt.

    Composed in 2023, Society is another – perhaps less melancholic, more analytical – sociological piece I did. An earlier, and more optimistic, piece for two electric guitars is Sin aliento.

    Let Fade Completely – PDF score

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