Live recording of the premiere performed by the Arioso Quartet.

Instrumentation: violin, violin, viola, cello

Type: ensemble

Year: 2014

Premiere: Performed by the Arioso Quartet, at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, 2nd July 2015, Bantry.

Duration: 8’30

Monster was a winning entry to the 2015 West Cork Chamber Music Composition Competition 2015.

Monster for String Quartet

I Fragmentary Moments
II Monstrous Convulsive Machines
III Clouds of Mist and Dust
IV Eruptions

Monster is my first string quartet and was written in April and May of 2014. It demonstrates my fascination in comprising a piece from numerous short and dense movements.

At the time I had recently written a piece for solo bass clarinet, entitled Micro + Macro, which I think influenced my workings for Monster. It was written in two short movements where I derived all material from a single tone row.

I continued this focused method of working when writing this string quartet and I decided to create a series of short movements based on simple motifs. These would act as the building blocks for the music. They are like the brick which when stacked and repeated creates the overall form.

These motifs are subjected to various developments and variations throughout the course of each movement and in some cases spill over to the next, or reappear in later movements, establishing relationships between the piece as a whole.

Photo by Nathy Coleman