As I started working on the fourth and final movement of my string quartet, I was reflecting on harmonic rhythm. How often you change the harmony, and how central that is to the feel of the piece. I decide to take inspiration from Philip Glass, because I have never really tried to write in that style. One thing I have noticed with his music is the usually pretty slow pace of change. There are often what you could call a drone, a repeated pattern, that goes and repeats several times before altering it slightly. I have personally thought it a successful approach to making the music enjoyable, and therefore I’m going to keep my own harmonic language, but attempting to incorporate some of his energy and determination in the way he writes into my own piece.
It’s interesting to think about how each of the movements definitely has its own inspiration, but still have the same kind of idea intermixed with the difference. I hope when you hear it, that you can hear what I’m talking about!
First movement: for sure inspired by Mendelssohn. Second movement – waltz: inspired by Swedish folk dances. Third movement – Largo: inspired by Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. Fourth movement – Fast and furious: inspired by Philip Glass. With the caveat that I might change the order of the two inner movements.