Excerpt of the third movement of "Fox Hollow," from a concert performance by the Lafayette String Quartet, at Open Space Gallery in Victoria, B.C., Canada, November 8, 2013. This excerpt is from the third movement, entitled "Natural Amphitheater."
"Fox Hollow" was commissioned by the Lafayette String Quartet. The title refers to the Fox Hollow Folk Festival, which the composer attended and performed in as a teenager. The festival was hosted by the Beers Family on their family homestead in upstate New York, and ran from 1966 to 1980.
It was a festival of the times, steeped in romance as a world of musical magic and enchantment was created. It was a festival of intimacy and limited attendance that brought together “big names” with lesser known traditional artists. Most remarkably, it was purely acoustic — no electricity.
"Fox Hollow" for string quartet is in four movements depicting different moods and times of day, beginning with early morning and ending with an all-night campground jam session. Additionally, each movement is structured around the open strings of a different folk folk instrument in the following order: banjo (Appalachian modal tuning), guitar, mandolin, and fiddle. The movements are played without pause, with cadenzas providing a link from one to the next: first viola, then cello, then alternating violins. The movements are entitled: "Sawmill Tuning" (banjos at breakfast), "Midday Blues" (guitar licks in the heat of the day after a night without sleep), "Natural Amphitheater" (un-amplified concerts on a terraced hillside) and "Campground Cacophony Under the Stars" (multiple overlapping jam sessions expand and recede until the dawn, when it all starts again.)
For further information, please visit jaffe.com.