During this lockdown I have been exploring a variety of ways to create String Quartet works that draw from the Scottish Idiom whilst exploring a new expression to this known modality. These works have been inspired by composers such as Hildur Gudnadottir, Dimitri Shostakovich, John Adams, John Metcalfe, Ralph Vaughan-Williams and Bela Bartok. In Short, I aim to fuse Scottish Modality and form with Western Classical timbres and harmonic function.

This first, very simple string quartet is for classical string quartet and explores a simple orchestration of parts to accompany melodies in typically Scottish Idioms:

I - Medley, Allegro

II - Piobaireachd Song 'Carles Wi The Breeks', Adagio

III - 2/4 March

IV - Air in the style of a Pipe Band

This second string quartet and explores a more complex orchestration of parts to accompany melodies in typically Scottish Idioms. exploring double stops, bi-tonality, modal heterophony as well as a simple piece to end on:

I - Reel 1 'Double Stop'

II - Piobaireachd 'The Lament for the Laird of Anapool'

III - Psalm

IV - Reel 2 'Linnhe'

This third string quartet and explores a more complex orchestration of parts to accompany melodies with hints of minimalism. exploring double stops, bi-tonality, modal heterophony as well as a simple piece to end on:

I - Allegro

II - Allegro

III - Adagio

IV - Allegro

Watch the first movement here:

This first, very simple string quartet is for classical string quartet and explores a simple orchestration of parts to accompany melodies in typically Scottish Idioms:

I - Valse

II - Reel

III - Piobaireachd 'Lament for Ronald MacDonald of Morar'

IV - 12/8 Jig 'Garscadden'

Watch the fourth movement here:

This first simple quartet aims to bring out the playing styles of traditional musicians, exploring exactly what it is to play like a Scottish Fiddler. These pieces not only draw on an aspect of Scottish Music and its modality but aim to allow the players to play as if in a session with additional gracenotes, moments to add lib and highland/contemporary ornamentation. Each section also leads one movement.

I - 'A Medium Reel for the Second Fiddle'

II - 'A Viol Chant for Viola'

III - 'A fast reel for the First Fiddle'

IV - 'A Lilted tune for the Cello'

Email John for full programme notes.