A Quartet of Daydreams For String Quartet Ian Percy (2003/09) Abridged Version [Edited and Rearranged] (2017)

Percy, Ian (2017) A Quartet of Daydreams For String Quartet Ian Percy (2003/09) Abridged Version [Edited and Rearranged] (2017). [Composition]

Text (Original Music Score)
Quartet of Daydreams A4 Reference Score DrIPercy.pdf

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[img] Audio (Live Recorded Performance 070317)
Quartet of Daydreams Live 070317 St Lukes DrIPercy.mp3

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This single movement string quartet was composed using material flavoured by natural resonance theories and elements of the harmonic and sub-harmonic series.

Initial work evolved from the planning for two entirely different pieces:

Melancholy Daydreams for solo piano: A set of 4 movements subtitled: What, Where, When and Why. These generic questions (or daydreams) offer a variety of connotations. They can be perceived as interrogations or exclamations, passive or aggressive. This ambiguous extra-musical influence captured the imagination of the composer inspiring conception of a meta-formula from which multiple pieces evolved.

Natural Resonance for string quartet: A single movement dealing with the acoustic phenomenon of resonating natural resonance. Natural Resonance seems to describe the timbral characteristics of a string quartet quite accurately. It implies an organic phenomenon: acoustic vibration. It is as old as nature and is often discussed in relation to space and time, even the origins of the universe itself. It suggests the harmonic series, ancient organic resource and natural patterns. In literal terms, natural resonance refers to the additional sympathetic tones produced when sustained resonances vibrate against each other. These heterodyning frequencies can be produced above the pitches as combination tones (sum of the two frequencies), or as difference tones (the difference between the two).

Having allowed the idiomatic properties of the instrument to shape heterodyning frequencies and multiphonics within previous works, this quartet adopts a more considered and reproducible approach to the phenomenon of natural resonance as a compositional resource. The pitch of D is treated as the primary thought and all material is generated from and around it.

The meta-formula for this quartet can be sub-divided into four forms:

1. Chromatic pitch wedge around D
2. Modal cells
3. Whole-tone scales and chords
4. Heterodyning frequencies relative to the pitch of D

Although a seemingly complex movement, it can be divided into a handful of compositional units:

1. Pitch wedge
2. Ostinato/pedal tone
3. Motivic gestures and resonance theories
4. Dance adaptations (mini sonata form)
5. Melodic daydreams (transitional passages/lyrical interludes)

As a guiding extra-musical influence, the composer considered the definition of a daydream as ‘a fantasy indulged in while one is awake’ and through analogy and metaphor, allowed this to influence the character, atmosphere, pacing, texture, rhythm and interaction of the writing as one aimed to compose an acoustic interpretation of the natural thought process: a collection of daydreams.

This single movement work was edited, rearranged and abridged for a public recital performance by the Ensemble of St Luke’s string quartet at the Cornerstone Arts Festival in March 2017.

Item Type: Composition
Additional Information and Comments: All performers have agreed recordings can be used for dissemination of research and personal portfolio
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Music (up to 30th April 2018)
Depositing User: Ian Percy
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2017 09:24
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2017 09:24
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2298

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