Quiet Places

From a live performance at Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco Symphony Chamber Music Concert Series. Paul Brancato, Sarn Oliver, violins; Christina Hyland King, viola; Eileen Moon, cello.

Quiet Places
for string quartet

Duration: 20' 

I first became aware of the "dawn chorus" of birds when living in a tent in a field outside of Ithaca, NY in the spring of 1975. Ever since then, I have been seeking places where the peaceful cacophony of natural sound can be heard without the intrusion of noise from automobiles, airplanes and other human sources. I have made recordings of such "quiet places" in the heart of the Brazillian Pantanal, in remote parts of Queensland, Australia and elsewhere, but they are getting harder and harder to find. Quiet places are full of sound, often quite raucous, but there is always a sense of underlying tranquility that draws us in and brings to our attention our own inner noisy places: the preoccupations and worries that separate us from the world.

Quiet Places invokes an imaginary visit to such places. The "quietness" refers not to the dynamic level, but to the way time flows, to a kind of stillness bordering on sadness. The piece is in seven connected sections:

quiet place 1
quiet place 2
quiet place 3
noisy place
whisper song

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To order a score and parts contact Terra Non Firma Press