Liquid Study no. 1

for string quartet and electronics

Recording Excerpts

Credits: The Arditti String Quartet: Irvine Arditti, Ashot Sarkissjan, Ralf Ehlers and Lucas Fels, 2015

Score Samples

This is the first in a series of pieces that I intend to write to explore an imagined physics based on the behaviour of fluids. Ideas such as turbulence, disruptions and ripples, surface tension, and the interaction of dissimilar liquids inspire both the gestural language and the formal design of this composition. While the electronic and acoustic sounds often share certain articulative tendencies and a similar sense of gestural elasticity, they rarely fuse together as one. Rather they behave much more like oil and water - two distinct entities which share a diaphanous boundary, inherently responsive to each other, yet stubbornly separate and divisible. Always filling each others’ voids, pulling when pushed and pushing when pulled.

This piece is warmly dedicated to Roger Reynolds, who taught me, among other things, that the act of searching for words to describe what you do invariably connects your music to the world around you. I would like to thank the following researchers whose insights and ideas have inspired and enabled my work: Norbert Schnell, Gilbert Nouno, Joachim Goßmann, Arshia Cont, Diemo Schwarz and Philippe Esling.