dead wasps in the jam-jar (iii) (2017)

dead wasps in the jam-jar (iii) was written for and first performed by the Arditti Quartet, in October 2017. The buzzing machines used in the piece has been built by Jan Bernstein.
NB: it is possible to play the piece without machines — instructions are written in the score.

Commission: Festival d’Automne à Paris, with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Foundation, and the Proquartet Association.

Duration: 14′

Dedication: to Joséphine Markovits

dead wasps in the jam-jar (iii) is born from a desire to explore depth. For a long time my music has been about creating a surface on which things move, blend, but mostly hide what is underneath them. A surface is nothing more than a reflection, and I was constantly veiling the real mirrored image, probably also because I was (and still am) not sure yet of what this image was, even though I knew what its shadow looked like. The three pieces that form the cycle dead wasps in the jam-jar — for solo violin (i); string orchestra (ii); and string quartet (iii) — try to investigate this matter. While working, I pictured a kind of deep-sea environment, the lowest layer in the ocean, where constant pressure and perpetual movement seem to shape the stillness of time.

      
[photos © Jan Bernstein]

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