Commitment Bed

for string quartet
duration: 10′
written for the JACK Quartet

Program Notes

“Commitment bed” is clinical shorthand for a place one goes against his will, having been deemed dangerous or sufficiently unwell. The term conjures visions of restraint, but also the infinitely curative act of lying down in a soft place. Commitment Bed explores this dichotomy, as well as a reinterpretation of the term, which might call to mind another sort of commitment bed, marriage. The piece marries very traditional musical ideas with strange tuning distortions, but I’m not sure whether or not these distortions actually make the music uncomfortable. If anything, I think the piece is restrained in a world of strange beauty.

Premiere: May 10, 2015. Princeton University
JACK Quartet