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01.08.2021 FLETCH
Arditti Quartet with works by Tansy Davies, Milica Djordjević, Karola Obermüller, Hilda Paredes and Rebecca Saunders

KAROLA OBERMÜLLER: xs

xs for string quartet was composed over the span of 14 years. Seven years after the first movement, the second movement came into being, and seven years after that, the third movement was finished. xs is an artistic research into excess within extremely confined space and the resultant (physical) pressure. That pressure produces energy which reacts to the constant change of (imaginary physical) space and thus makes the (musical) material expand and compress as it flows. It is music of and about kinetic motion. But the source of this energy, and its purpose(s), its needs and desires, remain hidden, looming in the shadows, with unseen hands occasionally making themselves known as they change the course of the musical form. The pressure manifests itself in compact rhythms, in the rebounding (recoiling, perhaps) action of the bow on a string instrument when struck hard against the strings, and in pizzicati that spurt and splinter. The gestures of xs compress and expand from within, the tight intervals between instruments mounting a density that comprises a sense of body. The interior pressures create a corporeality.

Karola Obermüller

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