About the project:

Sleamhnan is the Irish word for “Slide”. The composition uses various slide or glissando techniques to produce the melodic and harmonic material of the quartet.  Sometimes the glissando is obvious sometimes more subtle as the piece develops. The piece is structured in 3 distinct sections. The first section introduces the main glissando idea in the melody of the 1st violin over a broken minimalist ostinato. The cello employs a glissando harmonic, which is influenced and even “stolen” from George Crumb’s vox balaenae.  It produces a quite distinctive seagull sound effect.  This is a recurring idea throughout the music. The music is calm almost melancholic. In the second section the melodic melancholy gives away to more aggressive rhythmic ideas, which begin to tear the quartet apart; the glissandos become more chaotic and disorganised even unpleasant. Here in this section, the rhythms become more disjointed and broken from the quartet’s earlier repetitive figures.  After the chaos, violence and climax of the second section the final section provides relieve and contrast. Short melodic strands intermingle with glissando fragments and the music gives away to a small almost chorale like idea. As the music’s complexity reduces the cello’s seagull effect returns and the music fades sliding into silence.

About the project: