Das Blaue Licht

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The piece is my third work for string quartet. But it has felt like a first in some respects. I have never before approached this perfectly balanced instrumentation without road-maps, grids and plans. This time, I have tried to remain firmly in the physical experience of the music – the “grain” of the sound, and a tactile sense of the material.

The title – which means “the blue light” in German – refers to the bright, clear, luminous blue light of the sky above Berlin in the scorching hot July weeks in which I completed the piece. For me, there is a kind of synaesthetic connection between this sense of colour and this music.

There are two movements. There is no dialectical relationship. Just a change in breathing.

Sub-title: String Quartet # 3
Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello
Duration: circa 10′
Date of composition: 2013
Commissioned by RTÉ in 2012.
First Performance: RTÉ ConTempo Quartet at David Lang’s Festival of Music, Bang on a Can Marathon, National Concert Hall, Dublin, Saturday 7 March, 2015.
Score: Please email orders@ergodos.ie to obtain the latest score.