String Quartet No. 1 (2010) 

 

Commissioned and premiered by the Point CounterPoint Chamber Players in Salisbury, VT: David Lamse, Elliot Cless, Alexander Vavilov, Miho Zaitsu

Winner of the SCI/ASCAP 2011 Student Composition Competition, 2nd prize.

 

Dissonant, aggressive musical gestures weave through the main movement like clashing wave patterns on water gradually flattening out over time. These ripples shape both the movement’s form as a whole and the gestural vocabulary, with sudden dynamic swells, cascading glissandi, and ricochet strokes. Twice during the main movement, senza misura sections completely strip away the rhythmic profile while maintaining an intense, dark character. A postlude follows, offering a prayer in the form of heterophonic canons. While my initial impetus for this quartet stemmed from personal reactions to specific political and environmental calamities, the music developed as an abstract narrative:

catastrophe...hopelessness...suppressed memory... ...paralysis...aftershock...recovery...acceptance...