String Quartet No. 1

"Cloud Walking in 3 Acts"

Within the contemporary music that has been developed in the last century, different tendencies have marked the form to compose in this period. Random music, serialism, experimental music, spectral music, electro-acoustic, "musique concrète", microtonal music and many other ideas have emerged as a search for new sounds and different paths.

In this first string quartet, I tried to synthesize many of these currents, but always from a personal view.

The two main concepts that I use are the figured numbers and the use of palindromes.

The use of figurative numbers comes from the concept of serialism, with which I use these numbers to obtain the harmonic and melodic material, but also the rhythmic since they will dictate the number of notes (or attacks) per measure.

Also, I use passing notes and neighboring chromatic notes. The main note of the series changes according to the section or phrase of the composition, to give more mobility to the work.

The use of figurate numbers is explained next:

  1. Triangular numbers: Add successive integers to get the next number
  2. Square numbers: Add odd integers to get the next number
  3. Pentagonal Numbers: (3n2 - n) / 2

Series used in each movement:

  • Prelude and Epilogue: The 3 series are used.
  • Act I: Triangular series.
  • Act II: Square and triangular series.
  • Act III: Square and pentagonal series.

The work consists of 5 parts, which form a palindrome as follows:

  • Prelude and Epilogue These two sections are rotated like a mirror.
  • Act I-Act III These two sections are rotated in the same way. In "Act I," the main instruments are the violins. In "Act III," cello and viola are the main instruments. This also seeks to "rotate" the register and timber of the work.
  • Act II It is not rotated in any way, however, it combines elements of the whole work and is also the one that has the most strength/character of all the sections.

Three more elements that stand out in the work are the use of harmonics, improvisation and rhythmic variation.

The approximate duration is 17 '23 ".

           Felipe Carvajal R. (2015)

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Copyright © Felipe Carvajal Rojas 2020