for string quartet(2013)
|Commission||Commissioned by and dedicated to the Shanghai Quartet on occasion of its 30th anniversary|
|Premiere||April 30, 2015; Freer Gallery, Washington, DC; The Shanghai Quartet|
Originally scored for 18 solo strings, Verge was composed on the verge of an exciting moment in my life: the birth of our son Albert Shin Liang. Albert’s musical name – A, B (Bb), E, D (re) – asserts itself in different configurations and disguises as basic harmonic and melodic material. His heartbeat also makes an appearance in the form of changing tempi and pulsations. In a sense, I composed the piece in order to make a musical amulet for Albert.
On a technical level, I was fascinated by the dialectical relationship between the convergence and divergence of musical voices found in the traditional heterophonic music of Mongolia. There, the functionality of a principal line and its accompaniment can interchange, and often not synchronously.
The quartet version was commissioned by and dedicated to the Shanghai Quartet on the occasion of its 30th anniversary. The Shanghai Quartet gave its world premiere on April 30, 2015 at the Freer Gallery in Washington, DC.
- Lei Liang