String Quartet #3: Light Garden (2008)

String Quartet #3: Light Garden is in six contrasting movements with a total duration of approximately 15 minutes. Ideas and thematic materials migrate unchanged from movement to movement and, generally speaking, accumulate in movement #5.  The intention is to impose non-developmental elements into an overarching developmental form, hopefully creating a new context with each repetition of familiar material.

The subtitle, Light Garden, refers to a large-scale landscape architecture project conceived of by my younger sister, Alison.  This garden reclaims a non-descript section of Saskatchewan highway and transforms it into a place of stunning warmth and resonance.  It allows highway travelers an opportunity to stop and enjoy the garden from the ground, or glimpse it fleetingly from their speeding vehicles.  It allows airline passengers to wonder at the sudden appearance of this light spectacle from any height.  It is multi-seasonal, environmentally respectful and whimsical, massive in scale yet elegant in its simplicity.  Alison’s light garden project–called Full Bloom–was never realized but as an idea, it influenced me deeply during the completion of this work.

String Quartet #3: Light Garden was commissioned by the Penderecki String Quartet in 2007.  I would like to thank the Manitoba Arts Council for its generous support of this commission, and Jeremy Bell of the PS4 for his enthusiasm and energy throughout the project.

This work is dedicated to the memory of Alison Scott–January 1967 – November 2008.

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