String Quartet No. 4: Traveling Symphony
LKMP X054076/ HL 367873
Commissioned by Caramoor Music Festival in New York and premiered July 14, 2017 by the Argus Quartet, this work is in no small part a response to this quartet's sense of adventure and expressive emotional range. Inspired by two end-of-civilization novels the composer was reading prior to composing the work, the quartet unfolds in a single movement, loosely based on plot lines in both novels. One of the novels includes a Traveling Symphony, an assortment of musicians and actors who travel the countryside for decades playing symphonies, jazz and orchestral arrangements of popular music alongside performances of Shakespeare plays, reminiscent of medieval troupes traveling the countryside in plague-ridden times. The work is written so that the quartet embodies the Traveling Symphony, not only playing music but also singing and 'stage whispering' fragments of "King Lear" and other text across the collection of nine scenes.