Between the Reels (2018) 7.5'
For string quartet. Can be performed alone or as the fourth movement of the four movement work Axel.
Premiered at the Curtis Institute of Music, 5/4/18 . Self-published (Morningside Press, ASCAP).
Between the Reels is titled after an old Irish saying – you might say something happened “between the jigs and the reels” to indicate it occurred amidst confusion and chaos. My piece responds to the mood of those words with a frenetic, unrelenting energy, copious syncopation, and capricious changes in tone. It also, somewhat surreptitiously at first, weaves an Irish reel tune into the fabric of its language. A “reel” is a traditional Irish dance in duple meter, and while a reel tune eventually does reveal itself towards the end of this music, it never quite escapes the wild syncopation or the extended modalities set out at the beginning of the work. You may find it useful to know that I first heard this reel tune years ago in a bar in Dublin. When it finally does appear, I hope it puts a smile on your face the way it did mine.