Fast Flows the River is a textless setting of the anonymous folk song Call John the Boatman for ‘cello and electric organ. The lyrics of the song describe a sailor who “sleeps” more deeply the worse a storm buffets his boat.
The cello should be lightly amplified. A keyboard sampler may be used in lieu of the Hammond organ. The initial patch should be a very mellow, bass-heavy timbre with no vibrato and few overtones. The “high patch” at the very end of the piece should be quite shrill and loud, with many overtones. A volume slider or pedal should be used in the very beginning and end of the piece to fade the organ in and out.
ListenTimo Andres: Fast Flows the River
recorded by Timo Andres at CSMT, Sprague Hall, New Haven, CT, May 2009
performers Hannah Collins, ‘cello; Timo Andres, Hammond B3