ellen fullman plays her long string instrument in the empac concert hall

Elemental View

Ellen Fullman & The Living Earth Show
Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at 8PM
EMPAC Concert Hall

Elemental View is a musical work in six movements by pioneering composer Ellen Fullman for her Long String Instrument and the experimental music duo The Living Earth Show—guitarist Travis Andrews and percussionist Andy Meyerson. The expansive installation inhabits EMPAC Concert Hall with its 136 strings, precisely tuned and configured for this multi-movement piece. Elemental View invites the listener to discover, as if with a magnifying glass, the details of the physics of string vibration itself. 

Invention and discovery are at the core of Fullman’s work. The artist brings her remarkable instrument to life using her fingertips, unfolding the physical sound spectrum of the strings as she walks, and producing undulating waves of continually shifting musical overtones. Additional tools developed and crafted by Fullman expand the possibilities of the instrument, allowing her to play three, six, or nine strings at once and to expand the timbre of the instrument while infusing its drone texture with rhythmic variation.

With their laser-focused precision and virtuosic ensemble playing, The Living Earth Show brilliantly executes the rhythmic and harmonic complexity of Fullman’s composition using specially-tuned instruments tailored to Andrews and Meyerson—a lap-steel guitar and hammered dulcimer.

Listening to the music of Fullman’s singular creation is akin to standing inside a giant musical instrument. The result is at once ancient and utterly new, environmental, and folk-like yet orchestral.

This presentation continues The Living Earth Show’s multi-season residency at EMPAC, offering engaging and exciting large-scale work from artists with whom they work closely. The Living Earth Show is a megaphone and canvas for the world’s most progressive artists, seeking to push the boundaries of technical and artistic possibility while amplifying voices, perspectives, and bodies that the classical music tradition has often excluded.

Main Image: Ellen Fullman and Living Earth Show in the concert hall on October 24, 2023. Photo: Michael Valiquette/EMPAC.

ellen fullman playing the long strings

Ellen Fullman, Elemental View. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Robert Szkolnicki.

Sustained Surface Distant View excerpt

Program Notes
radio play button


Wave Farm's Tom Roe is joined by composer and Guggenheim Fellow Ellen Fullman to talk about the upcoming installation and performance of her work Elemental View, a work in six movements for her Long String Instrument and The Living Earth Show, in EMPAC's Concert Hall. The installation typically inhabits an industrial-sized space with 136 strings, precisely tuned and configured for this multi-movement piece. Fullman bows the instrument lengthwise with her fingertips while walking, playing multiple strings at once. To produce percussive sounds, Fullman designed and fabricated the box bow, shovelette, and shoveler, which play three, six, or nine strings at once. Also performing the work will be Travis Andrew and Andy Meyerson.

Originally aired October 13, 2023. Interview starts at 00:10:45.

Dates + Tickets

Elemental View
Ellen Fullman & The Living Earth Show
Tuesday 24
8:00 PM
October 2023
$20 / $15 / RPI Students: $6 in advance, same day FREE
Presented By

EMPAC Fall 2023

Press Mention

The Best of Our Knowledge
Times Union
Wave Farm / WGXC 90.7FM: Radio for Open Ears



The commission of this work was made possible by the Gerbode Foundation Special Award in the Arts program with additional funding from InterMusic SF Musical Grants Program.