String Quintet no. 1

two violins, viola, cello, and double bass (2011)

String Quintet No.1 - First Movement

String Quintet No.1 - Second Movement

String Quintet No.1 - Third Movement

A string quintet composed of sounds which act as constellations or parts of a sonic mobile. The performers “play” with the sounds to create a flowing sonic tapestry. Initially the constellations are bound together by a driving common 8th-note pulse but as the piece progresses the music becomes less mobile and less flowing. The constellations become fixed in place and are no longer mobile. Towards the end of the piece they loosen up again, but this time the sonic constellations are unbound and without a common pulse. The sounds become free-floating sounds like tiny nomads. The quintet is divided into three large sections or movements. Each movement relies on single tonal center which acts as a harmonic drone for the entire movement. The overall tonal architecture of the piece is a monolithic chord progression; E-major, D-major, C-major, B-Major. Each movement is further comprised of many self-simuilar sections that are juxtaposed to create a rhizome-like form. The purposely monotonous repetition of some sections creates a sense of disproportionality.

Commissioned by the Toomai String Quintet

World Premiere

March 1, 2011
Issue Project Room
Brooklyn New York
Toomai String Quintet