String Quartet

“The Green Valley”

  1. The Aberrant Field 4:10
  2. Hell Hound 1:18
  3. Night on Rosie Creek Trail 4:32
  4. Disappearance of the Field 5:15
All files are mp3s encoded at 196kb/s.

One of the center-piece compositions for my Senior Recital at Oberlin Conservatory was the electronic string quartet, The Green Valley. The quartet consists of a four-movement programatic suite that documents a number of visits to an almost fantasyland valley tucked in the rural hills outside of Fairbanks, Alaska.

The following notes appeared in the program of the concert:

Originally, this piece was written for acoustic string instruments, each run though various processes. Unfortunately, I was unable to find string players at this time of year, so Iíve attempted to recreate the piece as best as I can using synthesized instruments. Each movement uses a different processes which is intended to be performed live along with the quartet.

The setting for this pastoral quartet is a place I ran across by accident while driving through back-country near Fairbanks, Alaska. Through the dull and dark grayish taiga forests of the area, a friend of mine and I became lost and ended up driving far from town, and came upon a large valley of bright green grass unlike anything Iíd ever encountered in the area. We were, immediately attacked by a huge gnarly dog, who attempted to jump in our open window. Spooked, we fled back to the city. I came back to this valley along Rosie Creek Trail numerous timesÖ each time being chased by the big dog, scaring each friend I took out there half to death.

Finally, after about a year and a half, I returned with a car full of buddies on a road trip to find that the field had completely vanished; all the grass was dead and completely devoid of itís previous glory. I was, of course, subsequently chastised for bringing everyone out to see this “wondrous place” that didnít exist. Strangely enough, the dog never showed itís face that day either, almost as if it had vanished along with the valley.

The recording available for downlaod here is the same one used in the recital. It had to be synthesized due to the fact that all the string players that specialized in electronic music were tied up doing other things at the time.