Took my suitcase (2008)

for string quartet

written for Dudok Quartet

Sound sample: 

This is the first work that I wrote without the supervision of my teachers at the conservatory. After my final exams in may 2007, I decided to focus my attention mainly to my studies on the viola, and only thinking about compositions. In my thoughts the shape of this quartet slowly became visible. I intended to take my time and write it down slowly, in my head, and then write it down very fast and immediately.
I told about my approach to my friends of the Dudok Quartet, and they asked me if it could be finished in two months, they were in need of a contemporary piece. This idea of writing it down in one flow of the pen was an illusion; it was hard work and took all the effort to get it finished in time.
The main ingredient of the piece is a chord. In every section the intervals of the chord are first slightly augmented, the chord becoming more consonant. Then I diminished them again and making the chord more compact. A quartet is the instrumentation per excellence for voice leading and counterpoint and I listened therefore very carefully to the tension flow and the harmony.
Programmatic content comes from my visits to Suffolk, England; I was there twice for the Britten-Pearse Course in Aldeburgh. The surroundings are incredibly charming, with the strange reed marshes. And of course the English in the pub, drinking their bitters.
I particularly enjoy writing for musicians I know well. There is more inspiration; one knows each other’s qualities. It was very nice to work together with them, and I really appreciate their friendship and the numerous occasions they programmed this piece.
Took my suitcase was nominated for the Henriëtte Bosmansprijs 2008.


string quartet

first performance:
April 4, 2008
Dudok Quartet
website and photography (c) 2011 by maarten storm