for two violins, viola, and cello (2021, 9 min.)
Miho Saegusa - violin I
Emma Frucht - violin II
Ayane Kozasa - viola
Karen Ouzounian - cello
It is hard not to put the word "snow" in a title without immediately evoking the composer Hans Abrahamsen and his large, immaculate ouvre of snow-themed music. While I certainly looked to Abrahamsen, I ended up engaging much more with the string music of Stravinsky, and in particular his Three Pieces for String Quartet. My quartet pays homage to the formal characteristics (it is also a set of three pieces) and compositional processes that Stravinsky employed in his own quartet, but I depart from Stravinsky in my own personal ways. Specifically, I wanted to capture both the delicate beauty and harsh bitterness of my memories of winter growing up in Minnesota. The three contrasting movements, or scenes, express my complex affection for that season.
Snow Figments was written in Spring 2021 for the Aizuri Quartet as part of the Next Festival. It is dedicated to the Aizuri Quartet, Peter Askim, and my teacher Aaron Jay Kernis.