Echoes (2008/2011)

Instrumentation:

string quartet

Duration: ca. 14'

I. Resonant (7')

II. With a sense of space (3')

III. Spirited (3'30")

Echoes was composed in 2008-9, while I was on a trip to Penang, Malaysia, to play in a Beethoven 9th concert on viola. I managed to borrow a violin to work on this in between rehearsals and made sketches for the bulk of the piece, improvising on violin and viola to compose the top three lines and imagining the cello part on the viola. As a result, each line feels very real to me, as this way of composing and putting each part together was quite an enjoyable process. The inspiration for the piece came from a Kevin Puts' symphony (the reverberant acoustic effect of intentionally not-playing-together) as well as my acquaintance with electronic music. This string quartet was one of my college graduation pieces, which is a representational sample of an emerging personal sound.

The quartet begins unassumingly with a unison melody which leads to the exploration of near-exact echoes with a widely-varied time delay. That ranges from creating a sonic resonance to the other extreme of contrapuntal textures.

 

A more tranquil middle movement seeks for a sense of spaciousness where delicate gestures create the ethereal atmosphere.

 

Echoes evocative of being in a valley inspires the spirited and quicker-paced final movement. The concept of echoes that occur in different speeds simultaneously serve to shape the heterophonic and resonant textures.

The score was updated in 2011.

Performances

2009       Composed in 2008, Echoes was performed as a graduation work at YST Conservatory.

2011       Performed at the Asian Composer's League (Taiwan), receiving Second Prize at the Young Composers' Competition

2014       Performed by Cascade Quartet (Great Falls, Montana)