Second String Quartet
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The Second String Quartet was written in June and July of 1990 for the Atlantic String Quartet. My major concerns with the writing of any large work are diversity and coherence; I am also interested in generating the maximum amount of material from only a few elements. The pitch language and temporal relations that I use owe a great deal to the innovations of Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Babbitt, and Wuorinen; my use of these serial techniques allows me bring to fruition the aims expressed above in a logical and musical fashion.

In a way, the Second Quartet is a summation of my present perspective on the serial system. With the exception of the passage towards the end of the third movement, the row can never be heard on the surface of the work; it becomes a determinant in the harmonic language and in the large-scale shaping of events. Through a series of processes, the row provided me with the basic materials for my work. The "limitations" that one often hears directed against serial music is what I revel in. Freedom in anything, particularly art, is pure illusion. By limiting my choices, I am able to think more musically; it is as if the act of imposing these limitations grants me more freedom. Some of these "limitations" are larger than one may expect; the entire second movement is constructed on one long, non- recursive function. Most of the other processes are of a more local nature. What interests me is that all of these procedures, no matter how far-reaching or diverse, are developments of a single, unifying idea :

Composition With Twelve Tones Which are Related Only with One Another.