STRING QUARTET NO. 2

YEAR

2013

 

INSTRUMENTATION

String Quartet:

2 Violins, Viola, Cello

 

DURATION

14 minutes

 

MOVEMENTS

I. Ink and Wash

II. Song and Dance

III. Chinatown Rumble

 

COMMISSIONED BY

Jeremy Crosmer

 

FIRST PERFORMANCE

March 19, 2012;

University of Michigan 

Tim Steeves, violin

Jenny Berg, violin

Jarita Ng, viola

Jeremy Crosmer, cello

PROGRAM NOTE

String Quartet No. 2 is an exploration of combining the elements of East Asian music with the techniques of Western musical art form and composition.  The work is in three movements. The first, Ink and Wash, is inspired by a type of East-Asian brush-paintings. The goal of ink and wash painting is not simply to reproduce the appearance of the subject, but to capture its soul. With this philosophy in mind, this movement contains subtle figurations and flourishes imitating the fine and purposeful strokes of a calligrapher. The second is a Song and Dance and the final movement; Chinatown Rumble is a chaotic barrage that represents the clash and blending of many different cultures into one. Such is the idea of a “Chinatown,” a created and transplanted region, fused into a different culture. Traditional pentatonic folk tunes and pseudo-folk tunes are fused and layered upon each other (in different keys and tempo) to create the sense of cultural clash and confusion. Gestures and figurations represent the performance practice of many eastern instruments (wide vibrato, bends, ornamentation) that are blended with western performance practices. The resulting work is one of a collage that is fighting to come together into a homogeneous culture.

 

PERFORMANCE HISTORY

April 8, 2012: University of Michigan

 

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