Jonathan Pitkin

CHAÎNE for string quartet (2003‑4)

Duration: 10 mins
Click here to see the SCORE.

The title of this piece acknowledges the similarity of its main organisational principle to that of Witold LutosÅ‚awski’s Chain 1, 2 and 3 – a series of instrumental works composed in the 1980’s and 90’s, in which a succession of different textural and motivic ideas are used, each being introduced while the previous one is still being played. My piece applies this idea of overlap in a number of different ways, with considerable variety in terms of the rate at which new material is introduced, the role it takes up in the texture, and the degree of attention its emergence is intended to attract.

The French word ‘chaîne’ can also mean a television or radio channel, and thus suggests a comparison between switching channels and changing from one musical section to another. It also means ‘string’ – unfortunately in the computational rather than the musical sense. 

Audio extracts:

(Performers: Rosendale Quartet)