A Metastable Harmony

Scott McLaughlin

A Metastable Harmony has been performed in Huddersfield and Montréal…

The string quartet is a multivalent object, a web of difference. The interaction of forces and materials can be perceived as a single sound-percept of many parts, or a community of different identities. A metastable harmony focuses on the open strings played molto sul ponticello (very near to the bridge), where the connection between bow and string can become highly non-linear, affording noise, harmonics, and multiphonics; these patterns emerge from noise, fleeting, and contingent on the momentary cohering of forces. The composer guides and constrains forces, “circumscribing the open universe” as Thomas DeLio describes it. Like spinning plates, the players negotiate a balancing act of force vectors in body and bow to sustain fugitive sounds, configurations stable only as long as the player can hold the moment.



  • April 28, 2012, Composer’s Kitchen 2012: Concert, Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, Montréal (Québec)

A Metastable Harmony

  • Composer(s): Scott McLaughlin
  • Year of composition: 2012
  • Duration: 12:00
  • Instrumentation: string quartet
28 Apri 2012
Série QB
In person Free admission Residency
Montréal (Québec)
24 Nove 2012
In person Residency
Huddersfield (England, UK)