Four Stills on Evaporation in Thirty-One Fragments (2007)

  • Instrumentation: string quartet
  • Duration: 8’00
  • Performers: The Arditti Quartet
  • Writ­ten for the Arditti Quartet

Program Notes

This piece reflects my ongoing interests in sectional forms, doing away with transitional material, and the challenging of aesthetic assumptions. There is no attempt to relate any of the materials of the piece over the large scale. Instead, I have focused on a broad gesture—that of a long diminuendo—that goes from beginning to end. Within that gesture are a series of thirty-one fragments, some with local relationships to adjoining fragments, some without. No structures or organizing principles have been used that are not immediately apparent to the ear, and each section is composed intuitively with regard to pitch, rhythm, tone colour, and phrasing. The piece also includes several theatrical elements, and is therefore best appreciated in a live performance.