Quotet : for piano quartet
by Felicity Wilcox (2013)
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Performance by Australia Piano Quartet from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 53.
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Quotet was commissioned for the Australia Quartet (now the Australia Piano Quartet) and the UTS animation department. It was composed prior to the visual design, and in writing it I drew on my background as a film composer, focusing on creating a slowly evolving kinetic and textural music with strong sonic shapes that provide fertile ground for audiovisual correspondences.
Quotet contains an original melodic statement that is then recycled, or quoted many times, reflecting the idea of growth through repetition and evolution as occurs in the process of cell division and multiplication. We all begin life as a single cell containing our entire DNA, which then divides into two daughter cells, each containing an exact copy of the DNA held within the original cell. So it goes, with each new cell producing two copies, until the original cell is multiplied millions of times upon itself, making something altogether new. This idea is reflected musically through a single melody first heard over twelve bars, played in unison by the quartet. From there the same melody is subjected to rhythmic subdivision, where it is heard twice in twelve bars, against the 'mother melody' reiterated in its original form. The process of rhythmic subdivision continues, until the melody is finally heard sixty-four times within the twelve bar cycle, against many layers of itself in longer subdivisions. Through complex layering of the same notes over and over, as with the formation of a living body, the climax of the piece has an entirely different identity from the melody that began it, while remaining a carefully constructed reiteration of the same material.
Instrumentation: Piano, violin, viola, cello.
Duration: 8 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — virtuosic passages, rhythmically challenging, optional animation video for performance
First performance: by Australia Piano Quartet — 29 Jul 13. University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Bon Marche Studio.
The score can be performed stand alone, or with the accompanying animation from a laptop. The visual material is held by UTS Animation Dept, contact Deborah Szapiro.
- In the form/style of: Film & TV Music
Performances of this work
4 Sep 13: Bon Marche Studio, University of Technology Sydney. Featuring Australia Piano Quartet.
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