For Violin Quartet
Astral Bodies is a collection of four violin quartets - Constellations, Sam&Lilly, Laniakea and Astral Bodies - that feature romantic narratives of celestial dalliances and existential experiences in regards to the cosmos. Given the intensity of contrapuntal texture, they are both violinistically and compositionally virtuosic. Their harmonic language is eclectic, drawing on various 20th century and original systems of composition.
Constellations is a virtuosic introduction & rondo that opens with scintillating false harmonics that gradually spiral into a torrent of intricate contrapuntal textures, culminating in a breathtaking sweep into infinity at its end. Constellations is the 1st place winner for the 2018 Tribeca New Music Festival.
Sam&Lilly is a programatic piece that follows the narrative of Samael and Lilith, two biblical characters from Talmudic lore. This piece focuses on their erotic encounters, emulating the suaveness, thrusts and moans of sex at its opening. More importantly, the piece conveys naive innocence as a critique of religion - these two misunderstood characters are ultimately punished by god for their love.
Laniakea is a musical polyptych that explores the various textures and sonic spaces that are possible for the violin. In comparison to its companions, Laniakea is the most free form composition of the set, seeking rather to aimlessly observe various images and moods that one could imagine traveling the cosmos.
Astral Bodies is the most violent and challenging of the quartets, calling on the entire arsenal of technique available to the violin and composer. It's most notable focus is in rhythmic invention as it pulls inspiration from various pop/rap genres. In some of it's modules, the texture seems about to unwind and fall apart, at which time the breaks set in and we are thrusted into the aural cushion of the second theme. Not soon after, we are thrown back into distress until the violence is ended only by the conclusion of the form.