Firing Canons

This is a string quartet piece I wrote last year. It’s all based on a simple eight-note motif that spirals out chromatically from a central note, like this:
 

The central idea of the piece is the 7/8 ‘riff’ section which appears twice; at the end it sort of disintegrates, breaking down into smaller gestures which flit across the ensemble. I had this image of gears grinding against each other, cogs slipping suddenly then halting again.

Recorded in Pembroke Chapel, 23 April 2009 by Fra Rustumji, Rebecca Minio-Paluello, Peter Mallinson and Peter Matthews.

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