Sonata for Strings “Stillleben”

2 string quartets + double bass        11’        2013

First performance for dance by Ace Dance Company, June 2014 at Arlington Arts Centre, Newbury. Choreography by Laura Kelleher.

Although this piece has the same underlying tempo throughout, it falls into two sections, the first of which is static and peaceful with gradually evolving harmonies. The second springs to life with dynamic rhythms and melodic fragments, while the harmonic shifts bring with them a kaleidoscopic shuffle of ideas. Hence Stillleben, (‘Still Life’). It was originally intended for an ensemble of players touring in Scotland and I wove folk-like fragments of melodies into the fabric which reappear from time to time. Each half of the piece has 12 short sections each in a different ‘key’, and the second half journeys back through these 12 keys all over again.

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