Acqua e Luce (2012)
for string quartet
This piece was composed for and premiered at the HighSCORE Festival in Pavia, Italy and later performed by the Calder Quartet in Davis, California. As my first serious composition for string quartet, I wanted to seize the opportunity to experiment with the vast coloristic, textural, and expressive possibilities this historic instrumentation has to offer. As a structural framework for this goal, I decided to use the emerging and passing of a storm. For example, many of the sustained and glissandi (a technique of “sliding” from one note to the other) passages represent sunlight, and the col legno (the strings are hit with the wood of the bow) and pizzicati textures in the middle section often represent rain and water. However, it isn’t so important to me that the audience necessarily hears this connection. Instead, I’ve seen it as a tool for me to compose interesting sounds, contrasts, and to create an emotionally satisfying musical journey for the listener. (RS)
Calder Quartet, Mondavi Center - Davis, CA 2013.