Simon Steen-Andersen (1976)

String Quartet #2 (2012)

for string quartet

electronic work

  • General information
    • Composition date : 2012
    • Duration : 14 mn
    • Publisher : Edition-S
Detailed formation
  • violin, second violin, viola, cello

Premiere information

  • Date : 28 April 2012
    Location :

    Allemagne, Witten, Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik

    Performers :

    le Jack Quartet.

Information on the electronics
Electronic device : amplification


Archets préparés et amplifiés.

Program note

This quartet shifts the perspective from the body of the instruments and the left hand actions (normally activated by the bows) to the right arm movements and the bows themselves (activated by the strings). By amplifying the bows one is able to get much closer to the friction between bow and instrument, and the - otherwise completely overshadowed - acoustic qualities of the bow. The wood side of the bows (actually carbon fiber in this case) are prepared in different ways with various materials, resulting in different sounds and textures, when drawn across the strings. Working with the fixed orders of these preparations on the bows and the execution of these by moving the bow from one point to another (an acoustic “step sequencer”, if you will), reminds me a lot of working with four-channel “tracker” composition on my Amiga 500 as a teenager. The actual hairs of the bows are partly masked out with tape - a preparation that could be seen as the string instrument parallel to the idea of the “Touches Bloquées” in Ligeti’s thirds piano study; “Archet Bloqué”...