top of page


for string quartet

//  Duration: 7'
//  Date:  2015
//  Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello
//  Premiere: 8 April 2015, Philadelphia



Performed live, April 8 2015
Rose Recital Hall, University of Pennsylvania


Zoë Martin-Doike, first violin
Rachel Shapiro, second violin
Ayane Kozasa, viola
Karen Ouzounian, cello


Our inner selves can become so entangled, through experience, through trauma, through flux, that we often feed one of those selves when we think we’re feeding another. In this single-movement quartet, two inner selves struggle to be heard: the Inner Child, represented by an arioso cello solo near the beginning of the piece, is repeated cyclically in different guises; and the Inner Critic, the voice in all of us that exaggerates our faults, diminishes our accomplishments, and becomes entangled with other selves such that it steals resources from them. I call this Inner Critic “The Beast.” The opening five notes of the piece are a musical transliteration of the word “BEAST”: B-flat (in German notation, “B”)—E—A—E-flat (in Germans “es”)—B (in solfège singing, “Ti”). As the piece progresses, the “BEAST” material becomes more and more intertwined with the Inner Child, vying for supremacy, until we eventually return to just the Child at the end, sung in unison by all four strings, still strong but somehow transformed—perhaps quietly traumatized- by its experiences.


bottom of page