In contrast to vocal composition, composing a string quartet is a lonely, patient task. Without text means: the composition knows no end.
In the summer of 2016, I was an artist in residence at Thomas Bernhard Haus in Ottnang, near Salzburg. I was going to start composing a string quartet there. A large loft room of the farmhouse in the middle of a small forest was the studio. Every night I saw thousands of stars and heard the sound of falling dust. That is the name of the String Quartet No. 3 “Night Dust”. The work was not progressing at all. The cows were nowhere to be seen. They were locked up in the stall. It was a glorious sunny summer in Ottnang and the cows were looking out of their stall onto the green meadows. I was tormented by the complete loneliness and the thought of the poor cows. The string quartet took three years to complete.
Now the Swiss string quartet, Kubus Kollektiv, trusts to realise my convoluted piece. The work must be a kind of puzzle-solving. I have great respect for the four young ladies.