Cutstring quartet (1997)
|Premiere||June, 1998; June in Buffalo, Buffalo, NY|
To Cut, trim, pare, fell, hew, detach, intersect, cross, break, interrupt, split, stop, cease, carve, engrave, swerve...
A Cut, gash, band, pattern, type, appearance, style...
Cut is concerned with the cutting and pasting together of musical material. Unstable, fragmented music leads to more continuous material, which becomes continuous to the extreme, overloads, and fragments.
The piece is in three large sections; in the first, fragments of material eventually coalesce into a continuous statement, which breaks off with the violin in its extreme register. The second section begins after a short pause with a perpetuum mobile, which leads into a fragmentation all of the musical material previously heard in the piece. This section of juxtaposition and instability leads to a new, tremulous material, which again takes the violin into its extreme register. This segues into the third section, a final chorale. This chorale freezes the continuous statement of the first section, which eventually cracks and ends with a machine-like alternation of chords.