The wonderful new 4 STRINGS series has just been published: three graded books of new music for learners to play together in quartets.
My piece Clifton Bridge was commissioned for the series, which also includes music by Max Richter, James MacMillan, Astor Piazzolla and Christopher Norton. The series is edited by Liz Partridge and published by Boosey & Hawkes.
Each book includes a CD of recordings made by The Tippett Quartet, and there are versions without viola, and with double bass - for large string ensembles to play.
Full recordings are currently only available on CD with each book, but 'minus-one' tracks for practice are online:
My piece Clifton Bridge is inspired by the piece Ruby & Elsie by Three Cane Whale, and dedicated to Gabriel.
The story is that Ruby and Elsie were thrown off Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol by their penniless and despairing father, in Victorian times. The strong winds caught their dresses and slowed their fall and they both survived.
In my piece, a single note gradually splits in two, which move further apart before returning to briefly meet again. As this pattern repeats, each note splits further, with all the separated sounds slowly moving apart before returning back to meet at the end.