He is like...    2011

     for string quartet

“He is like

an elephant in a field.

You can love or hate him,

you could be indifferent,

but everybody’s gonna talk about ‘im.  You at least have to have an opinion.”


I was talking with a friend of mine from undergraduate in my musicology class when I coined that last phrase.  I had been wanting to write a string quartet for some time, particularly since I was taking a class on late Beethoven and was studying those gorgeous quartets.  As soon as I spoke that phrase I instantly knew that I could turn it into an outline for a four-movement quartet.  We were talking about one of the composers were we studying (said composer shall remain nameless) and I knew that the thought of that monolith of a composer and the imagery within that fun statement would push me to compose the longest, most varied piece of music I have yet to write.  My sincere hope is that performers will be inspired by its imagery and enjoy bringing it to life, and that listeners will savor the journey. 


The first movement projects a great expanse, in the midst of which is something fat, large, looming, perhaps even grotesque.  The second movement evokes longing passion and perhaps even comfort and joy, followed by contempt and disillusionment.  In the third movement, it is as if the members of the quartet are indifferent to each other, playing different melodies in different keys, tempos and styles, even carrying on conversations amongst themselves where they are discussing different topics.  The fourth movement is a long, perhaps overly repetitive fugue that seems like it won’t end (but does, eventually).

For sheet music, please contact me .