Out, Damned Spot! (2014)

solo ‘cello
Duration: approx. 3 min

 “Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two. Why, then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky!—Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.” –Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Act V, Scene 1

Out, Damned Spot! was inspired by Lady Macbeth’s famous sleepwalking scene. Distressed by her role in the assassination of the king, she begins to see spots of blood (represented by plucked strings). As Lady Macbeth sees more and more blood, she frantically tries to wash her hands of her guilt to no avail. Amidst her mania, she tries to calm herself down, telling herself “what’s done cannot be undone,” and she returns to bed.

Out, Damned Spot! was written for and premiered by Jakob Kullberg.