Sarah Hennies: Orienting Response by Cristián Alvear

“Orienting Response was written specifically for Cristian Alvear at his request. In writing the piece I wanted to see if I could create the same kind of focus and intensity I have created with percussion instruments using an instrument (the nylon stringed guitar) that is naturally not well-equipped to produce the type of timbres or high dynamic levels that I have worked with up to this point.” 


The score Orienting Response (2015-16), written by Sarah Hennies specifically for Chilean guitarist Cristian Alvear, is composed of six parts with short instructions describing some unusual techniques, such as: 

Play as accurately and consistently as possible but with the assumption that “mistakes” are inevitable. 
Allow “mistakes” to occur, do not attempt to correct them. 
All sounds should ring freely (as long as is possible) unless otherwise indicated. 
All timings and tempi are approximate and flexible. 

Available as 320k MP3 or 24 bit FLAC


1. Orienting Response 44:41
2. Orienting Response 44:42

Sarah Hennies

Sarah Hennies (b. 1979, Louisville, KY) is a composer based in Ithaca, NY whose work is concerned with a variety of musical, sociopolitical, and psychological issues including queer & trans identity, love, intimacy, psychoacoustics, and percussion. She is primarily a composer of solo and chamber works, but is also active in improvisation, film, performance art, and dance. She presents her work internationally as both a composer and percussionist with notable performances at Le Guess Who (Utrecht), Festival Cable (Nantes), send + receive (Winnipeg), O’ Art Space (Milan), The OBEY Convention (Halifax), Cafe Oto (London), ALICE (Copenhagen), and the Edition Festival (Stockholm). As a composer, she has received commissions across a wide array of performers and ensembles including Bearthoven (NYC), Bent Duo (NYC), Cristian Alvear (Santiago), Claire Chase (NYC), R. Andrew Lee (Denver), LIMINAR (Mexico City), The Living Earth Show (San Francisco), The Thin Edge New Music Collective (Toronto), Two-Way Street (Knoxville), and Yarn/Wire (NYC).

Cristián Alvear

Cristián Alvear lives in Santiago, where he spent nine years studying guitar at a music conservatory. An immensely talented instrumentalist, he has developed special techniques for playing quiet music with as little instrument noise as possible, and has released CDs by composers such as Sarah Hennies, Jürg Frey, Taku Sugimoto, Antoine Beuger, Ryoko Akama, Santiago Astaburuaga, Radu Malfatti, d’incise and JS Bach.

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