March, 2009: String Quartet #3: Light Garden was commissioned and premiered by the Penderecki String Quartet on the GroundSwell series in Winnipeg. The work is in six contrasting movements and is dedicated to the memory of my baby sister, Alison (1967-2008).
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 to stop and enjoy the garden from the ground, or glimpse it fleetingly from their cars. It allows airline passengers to wonder at the sudden appearance of this spectacle from any height. It is multi-seasonal, environmentally respectful and whimsical, massive in scale but elegant in its simplicity. Her light garden project—called Full Bloom—was never realized but it influenced me deeply during the completion of this work.