Inside and Out

March 8th, 2008

This piece is my first attempt at writing for string quartet after years of experience playing in quartet settings. I decided to focus on ostinato and repeated material throughout the piece, hence the title. I created scales for each movement by using pitch sets separated by a major second, beginning with minor third sets for the first movement. The second movement uses major seconds separated by major seconds, so the result is a whole tone scale. The third movement uses minor seconds separated by major seconds, also known as an octatonic scale. The fourth movement borrows from all of these ideas. Each movement contains an ostinato of some sort, namely the minor thirds in the viola in movement one, the presence of a pitch being held while another instruments slides into that pitch from a whole step below in movement two, the driving rhythm in movement three, and bits of all of this in movement four. My friend for whom I arranged “Chop Suey!” premiered this piece with his quartet,The Echelon String Quartet, playing only the first movement at first, but then learning the rest for repeated performances. You can contact me to purchase the score of “Inside and Out” for string quartet for $50 »

The Echelon String Quartet:

  • Violin, Blaine McQuinn
  • Violin, Dale Weimer
  • Viola, Leah Schultz
  • Cello, Jon Miller