Recently, I was selected as one of six composers from around the country to take part in the Flinders Quartet Composers Development Program, with mentorship from composer Stuart Greenbaum. We spent the week work-shopping our pieces, recording them at 3MBS Studio, as well as a live concert performance at the Docklands in Melbourne. I’m very grateful to Zoe, Helen, Nick, Thibaut and Stuart for the opportunity, their insights, experience and willingness to experiment!
My piece is called The String Quartet Project and currently consists of two movements which I will continually add to. If you’re interested in seeing the score, please reach out.
The String Quartet Project is the beginning of a journey that will never be entirely completed. I will continue to add new movements to the piece ad infinitum, or more crudely, until I die. This suite of music will grow and grow, each movement informing the next, a link in the chain. The compositional approach of subsequent movements will be informed by the ensembles who perform it, each string quartet leaving their mark on the work as a whole.
I - The Slow Unfolding of the Self
These are the first marks made for the work. I wanted each note to have gravitas, hence the slow, austere mood. It is almost without pulse and utilises frequent dove-tailing. Harmonically, I've been inspired by the work of the American composer Elliott Carter.
II - Foreign Gravity
The second movement oscillates between soloist and the ensemble in a call and response-like fashion. Instructions to play freely, steady and aggressively are given. It consists of hocket-like sections, all-interval tetrachords and an absence of extended techniques.