Bootleg Sugar Lips

Bootleg Sugar Lips


String Quartet

Duration: 15’12”

Bootleg Sugar Lips is divided into three sections. It begins with all of the musicians playing oscillating sixteenth notes in the lowest register of each instrument. The motion is propelled forward constantly by their frenetic gestures. Gradually, the cello and the viola climb up to a higher register while the two violins’ motive condenses. The tension increases until they all join in on the same pulsing rhythm. Section two lets the music sit back and breathe a little more. There is a slight pause in long, drawn out chords before another pulse develops. This time it’s an unhurried quarter note beat that acts as a foundation for this section. The break in motion doesn’t last very long before the cello launches into the third section of the piece with a tongue-twister of a theme. Although it is written in 4/4, I wanted to break up the rhythm of this phrase by placing unexpected accents on the off beats. Single melodies emerge out of the overlapping textures, while at other times all four players are in synch with the same rhythm. There is a fun story about the origin of this quartet’s title. It’s explained in the score!

Audio Recording Below.

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Items included: Full Score and Instrumental Parts

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