The macro gestures that make up String Quartet No. 1 consist of 4 lines that move via glissandi, as smoothly as possible by human players and the instruments of a string quartet. These macro events are on paper really simple lines, yet the ratios between lines (or negative spaces) are very dynamic.
I am using a maximum of 4 parallel layers at any given time; simple manipulations on the macro scale events create continuous subtle microtonal evolution that at times sound like extremely dense chord progressions. As 4 intervals continuously expand, shrink or cross, the subtle space of microtonal patterns between them is a dense, ever-changing tapestry of pitch combinations and spectral patterns. Timbre changes of each instrument as it slides through different registers enhance the sound to be even more delicately active.
The idea of continuity was central in many of Xenakis’ theoretical preoccupations: “If glissandi are long and sufficiently interlaced, we obtain sonic spaces of continuous evolution”. (Xenakis, Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Music).
released October 24, 2014
Performed by Kate Ellis, Joanne Quigley, Paul O'Hanlon and Lisa Dowdall.