Happy springtime to my fellow composers!
I am honored that my string quartet “Spring Suite” was premiered virtually this month by the Odin Quartet as part of the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra’s virtual season. The Toronto-based string quartet did a fantastic job, and I am quite pleased with how it all turned out.
The eight-minute composition is in three movements:
To help get started writing, I needed some inspiration. So I wrote the first four musical notes of the suite as a cipher to represent the letters of the quartet’s name: “O-D-I-N”. This cluster created some tension and was enough to get me going!
Overall, I tried to keep the harmonic content as “modal” as possible. There are almost no accidentals throughout. If I wanted a different “sound”, I would change key centers.
The second movement is more of a “pop” tune with its four-chord progression. However, for the first and third movements, I admit that I did not have a game plan or structure in mind. Just a sound in my mind and a model of Ravel’s string quartet for inspiration. I wrote the pieces from a blank slate and not at the piano. This was good in that it created a sense of freshness with many ideas. That said, I have since shied away from this approach for musical structures as I often get stuck and pieces become disjointed. This has been part of my learning and devleopment.
I hope you enjoy listening. Please let me know what you think of this writing style.