String quartet No.3 (2018)
Commissioned by Collectif Tana and SACEM
Premiere 26 September 2018, Auditorium France 3, Festival Musica, Strasbourg, France
Tana string quartet
Published by Editions Billaudot
"Then it seemed to him [...] that he was hearing a myriad sounds of no greater volume—voices, murmurs, whispers: of trees, darkness, earth; people: his own voice; other voices evocative of names and times and places—which he had been conscious of all his life without knowing it, which were his life."
William Faulkner Light in August.
These "other voices" are the voices of Hildegard von Bingen, Ockeghem, Gesualdo, Mozart.
Far from being treated like a collage of exogenous quotes, their utterances act as multiple underground sources generating the musical material. As one or the other voice suddenly disappears or springs up with extraordinary clarity, a new sound architecture starts developing with a vocal dimension that reflects my concerns about melody writing nowadays.
Three of the four instruments need to tune down their lowest string. The specific scordatura tuning gives unusual depth to the music while changing the tone color of the ensemble, adding a husky quality to the overall timbre.