Last year I completed writing String Quartet No. 3: The Long Thoughts (part 1). It's been haunting me ever since. It's one composition where many disparate aspects of my personal aesthetic and sensibilities have come together toward a cohesive expression. I'm proud of it.
The opening measures of my third String Quartet.
String Quartet No. 3: The Long Thoughts (part 1) is built upon the juxtaposition of sustained tones in free harmony and a set of deconstructed hymn tunes. The coexistence of these contrasting textures was motivated by the tension between personal and social expressions of faith.
Just to add a little more detail to what I've formally placed in the above program notes: this work is an introspective reflection on the nature of belief versus "fitting in" that works within my personal harmonic vocabulary. One technique I employed along these lines is freely modulating fragments of hymn melodies while keeping the intonation grounded in E Flat so that the melodies come out in the "wrong" key or draw attention to some "awkward" sounding intervals. It is a sonic depiction of the sensation of being at odds in a room full of "believers."
I envision "The Long Thoughts" as being a series of compositions dwelling upon self-reflection. Part two will likely be an epic solo re-tuned piano composition.
I've begun to take some preliminary steps toward getting this work performed and/or recorded. Such an endeavor will probably boil down to finding funding sources. It seems that the best way to go about this is to reach out to other composers with string quartet scores waiting to be performed as well so that we might pool together our resources and have enough material to mount a formal presentation. I'll have more to say about that in a later post. For now, I'd just like to get some information about this piece out and do what I can to attract like-minded individuals to help bring this labor of love to life.