JACK Quartet’s collaboration with Catherine Lamb has become a central artistic relationship, pushing forward the creative work of both the composer and quartet. Lamb’s music represents a facet of the very cutting edge of string instrument writing today. JACK has spent its existence expanding their abilities as chamber musicians and taking part in the conversation about enriching the language of possibilities in string quartet music. That the challenge in Lamb’s music comes through the lens of harmony and not through extended techniques or outre rhythmic demands, but rather a yogic attention to the sustained sound of the strings resonating traditionally, makes it all the more fascinating.
‘divisio spiralis’ requires JACK to retune their instruments to create new patterns of resonance as they slowly descend for over an hour, journeying through harmonic landscapes that can be crystalline and fuzzy, throbbing and placid, using microtonal tunings based on the overtone series of a 10 Hz fundamental. As Lamb describes the work, “the first time I discovered Erv Wilson’s 1965 organization of the overtone series as a logarithmic spiral, the image immediately resonated with me as a lucid means to describe harmonic space as numbers in repetition and interaction, generating/blooming outwards with each new prime and composite. I absorbed this image while working on the piece for JACK, and after applying a 29-limit reductionist omission to the tonal palette and situating the four string instruments inside it as distinct resonating chambers, I utilized this image as an inspiration for the total piece.”
Christopher Otto: violin
Austin Wulliman: violin
John Pickford Richards: viola
Jay Campbell: cello
This performance is presented live from Roulette's theater in Downtown Brooklyn.
Saturday, July 26, 2014 Commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for the Mostly Mozart Festival and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. Featuring members of Asphalt Orchestra, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Contemporaneous, The Crossing, eighth blackbird, Face the Music, Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, Hotel Elefant, JACK Quartet, and TILT Brass