Program Notes

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.