Spring Rhythm

for string quartet  
1997  ⤥  12′

Spring Rhythm was inspired by two disparate sources: the Medieval Motet and the famous “spatter” paintings of Jackson Pollock. The textures of Pollock’s paintings seem highly musical to me; it is not hard to imagine the beautiful musical textures we might create if we were to treat his paintings as “scores.” I am impressed by the physicality of his paintings; they convey a sense of gravity and effort. In constructing the textures of Spring Rhythm, I imagined how Pollock must have felt working on, for instance, Autumn Rhythm (after which my piece is named). After “spattering” an initial texture, I iterated it, and with each iteration, I would subtract one or more of the parts, replacing them with new parts and attempting to do alone what generations of Medieval composers might have done with a single motet. Over the course of many iterations, the original texture (or Motet) gradually changed into something entirely different–the sense of the original, however, always remained, if becoming ever more distant…

As performed by the Brentano Quartet:

Score and Performance Materials


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