“Like the creatures we’ve become…” (2009) a string quartet in one movement
This work was written as part of a two-day residency at Central Connecticut State University, during which a professional quartet was brought on campus for two days of open rehearsals and a culminating concert. The program was made up entirely of new works by faculty and student composers. I had two sets of string quartet sketches, but these were just small bits, and so I began anew. The program notes from the premiere follow below:
This piece is guided by a sort of social commentary, hence the title. There are images throughout the work referring to the current state of the human race. Much of the music is angry, self-centered, even mindless at times, in its lack of direction and lacking in interest in interaction with the other parts. There are also moments of remembrance of a calmer more integrated past, and perhaps hopeful reminders of what still could be. There is an intended imagery to what may remind some of a beehive, and the opening is such an example. This analogy is intentional and may be helpful to the players in recreating the initial spark and spirit of the piece. The well-mannered fugato is more hopeful, while the later music, carrying the descriptive phrase, “like a fugato in the hands of primitives”, conveys more negative thoughts.
It has seemed to me and to others, that we are increasingly becoming a less interesting people, characterized by a preference for simplistic gratification, a tendency toward self-centered preoccupation, and a general lack of interest in intellectual and aesthetically oriented pursuits. With our cell phones, our text-messaging, our IPods and computers, we indeed have more and more ways to say less and less. In short, this piece is “dedicated” to all the tailgating, “Hummer-driving”, reality-show watching folks who daily cut me off on the Merritt Parkway, on their way to no where.
Score and parts: $23.00