String Quartet No. 2: Pisa II

Cover Art by Lindsay Bird Courtney

This work is my second go at this standard ensemble.  It is a single movement work that is an aural representation of the painting Pisa II by Al Held.  Originally, the work was supposed to be integrated with a poem, but due to a series of unfortunate events, the wider scope of the project was never realized.

Regardless of what it could have been, the piece focuses on three aspects of the painting: structure, depth, and color.  The structure of the painting basically shows the guts of a spiraling tower, with a frame spinning upwards, and sharper posts jutting out from the center to provide support.  This is illustrated by a repetitive eighth note motive that is present from beginning to end of the piece, slowly evolving over the course of the piece to fit either the sharper posts or the spiraling frame as needed.  The depth of the painting is embodied in the dynamics, which create an arch starting from a softer level, slowly moving to a much higher volume, and receding back to nothing, just as the painting’s roots appear far away, the majority of the painting is perceived much closer, and then the top continues to move away from the observer.  Last, by utilizing some of the many tone colors or the string quartet, the colors of the painting are embodied, anywhere from a glassy hum, to a passionate, meaty statement.

String Quartet  No. 2:  Pisa II


Score Readable PDF Score of String Quartet No. 2: Pisa II

Upcoming Concerts

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Past Concerts

Kurt Mehlenbacher, composer  

Date Venue City More
04/18/09 Contemporary Art Gallery, Phoenix Art Museum Kurt Mehlenbacher, composer in Tempe [+/-]