Instrumentation: String Quartet

Duration: 7:45

Premiere: May 26, 2012 :: Stenhammar String Quartet :: Uppsala, Sweden


Program Note:

I am often inspired by the fleeting moments of consciousness as I fall asleep, a space that lies between the real and the surreal, between waking and dreaming. As I lay in bed one evening, I began to imagine a glass of water, filled to the brim, with the water rising slightly over the top, surface tension preventing it from spilling over. I picked up the glass and began to toss it up and down, yet the water remained intact, held together by a strange force. I then pulled the water out of the glass with my fingers and tossed the droplets into the air. As if in slow motion, some droplets fell to the ground and bounced like metal beads, others shattered like fragile glass, some fell upward and outward toward the ceiling and the walls, and yet others simply floated perpetually in midair, refusing to fall at all. In writing Surface Tension, I wanted to capture the imagery and surreality of this dream, stretching time, objects, and spaces in the same way that was possible only in that dream-space.

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Included in the 2013 PARMA Recordings Anthology of Music.

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