String Quartet – Tempest


Instrumentation:
 Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello
Duration:                  8 minutes
Year:                          2013 (rev.2015)

Audio Excerpts

Excerpt 1, Sunrise Quartet

Excerpt 2, Sunrise Quartet

Program Notes

Written as a one movement rhapsody for string quartet, Tempest is a piece that comes from a personal place, and explores the coming to terms with inner conflict during a turbulent time in life.

The piece is anchored on a ‘Chaconne’ like progression that descends by half steps, while the thematic melodic material is based on the intervals of 2nds and 5ths. The first half of the quartet unfolds in the likeness of a “Theme and Variation” structure, as each of players throw around the thematic idea over the descending Chaconne. The second half of the piece highlights an Ivesian quality in my music, with the introduction of an oddly cheerful gigue that is rudely interrupted by the manic theme. Like characters in a play, the ideas develop against each other and often times come in conflict. Finally, a moment of tranquillity arrives with a harmonic idea in D major reminiscent of wedding music. This however is only short lived as the quartet accelerates into a breakneck finale.

Performance History

  • Mar 30, 2014, New Orford String Quartet
    University of Toronto New Music Readings
    Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Feb 25, 2014, Cecilia String Quartet
    University of Toronto New Music Readings
    Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Jun 7, 2015, Sunrise String Quartet
    Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
    Washington D.C., USA
  • Feb 03, 2019, Saskatoon Symphony String Quartet
    University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon
    Saskatchwan, Canada