Roulette was composed for the New York City based string quartet ETHEL with support from Roulette's Emerging Artist Commission with funds from the Jerome Foundation and The Foundation for Contemporary Arts. The premiere performance was given by ETHEL at Roulette, Location One in SoHO with live visuals by Joshue Ott & SuperDraw.
I started writing Roulette with the melody that opens the piece and the choral section that occurs toward the end of the piece. I recorded these sections with vocalists Caleb Burhans and Martha Cluver at Carfax Abbey Studios, Brooklyn with engineer Alan Labiner. With these two sections marking the framework, I then wrote the string quartet music in a through-composed process. Once the string writing was complete, I then went back through the piece and added the electronic track that accompanies the live musicians. I tried to find sounds that would both compliment, interact with, and oppose the live music.
In 2012, Tzadik Records released a full album of my music, titled Blue Moth, that showcases a diverse range of electroacoustic chamber music, including Roulette.
— Anna Clyne
This program note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with a credit to the composer.