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Noncomposition in the Shape of a String Quartet: Bowed Wood

by Eliot Burk

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simulacrimations This is deep and thoughtful music, an exploration of how physical characteristics of an instrument and performer can be expressed in time as the structure of a composition. The resulting sound is mesmerizing: tidal in rhythm, complex in texture, fragile in timbre. The sound of following the same instructions with different bodies. The multiple takes are interesting as well. Highly recommended. Favorite track: Surface (bath).
jason severson
jason severson thumbnail
jason severson Mostly soothing, occasionally grating. One piece but 9 different moods. I wouldn't recommend trying to listen to all 4 hours in one go. Favorite track: Surface (midnight, noon).
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    8 GB USB loaded with 9 versions of 'Surface' in several audio formats, with score and bonus track.

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One piece for string quartet recorded in various locations & circumstances.

Over the course of the Noncomposition, each player in the quartet traces their bow over the entire surface of their instrument (except the strings), using different technical approaches on each portion to bring out different musical qualities from the shape of each individual instrument in relation to the shape of each performer's own body. The resulting form is a fluidic mensuration canon, wherein the proportions and relations between the 4 parts emerge directly from each performer's unique encounter with their instrument, and the unique physical properties of those specific instruments.

'Shattering Surfaces' is a remix of 'Surface(bath)' by Ron K Sedgwick aka AbstractJak. If you like his work, you can support him by purchasing his music here: abstractjak1.bandcamp.com.

Performers on premiere were Z.A. Stenger, Oliver Levi, Devin Valdez, Patrick Talesfore Jr., and Eliot Burk.
Check out Z.A. Stenger's music: memoryleaksontotherug.bandcamp.com
Also check out Patrick's: patricktalesforejr.bandcamp.com

Album artwork by Carolyn Sohn.


released January 19, 2020




Eliot Burk Santa Cruz, California

The pool is edged with the blade-like leaves of irises.
If I throw a stone into the placid water,
it suddenly stiffens
into rings and rings
of sharp gold wire.
Amy Lowell

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