String Quartet No 1 Tempesta
II Lament/ Seduction
Commissioned and first performed by the Acacia Quartet, 2014.
Performed by the Australian String Quartet
Dale Barltrop – Violin I
Francesca Hiew – Violin II
Stephen King – Viola
Sharon Grigoryan – Cello
Recorded at UKARIA Cultural Centre, Mt Barker, South Australia – December 2017.
Stephen Snelleman – Producer
Russell Thomson – Engineer
Alex Stinson – Editing and Mastering
Kingsley Schmidtke – UKARIA Cultural Centre
Angelina Zucco – ASQ Chief Executive
Sophie Emery – ASQ Operations Manager
Artwork – Jim Tsinganos Illustration
Art Direction – Cul-de-Sac Creative
Special thanks to Joe Chindamo for his valued support of this recording.
Composing for string quartet represents a defining moment for any serious composer. The realm is so appealing and challenging because it is at once intimate and expansive. It is also an idiom where there is nowhere to hide for the composer – it is exactly here where his/her craft either appears in full glory or reveals its shortcomings.
First commissioned and premiered by Sydney based quartet ACACIA in June 2013, Tempesta was my first foray into composing for the string quartet. In many ways though, it was an undertaking I had been preparing for many years. As a teenager, Ravel’s String Quartet in F major had a profound effect on me, particularly its sensuality, and the work undoubtedly informed much of my music-making since, whether subliminally or by design. Bartók’s string quartets, replete with wild rhythms, angular melodic contours and dissonant harmonies, also provided immense inspiration.
Of course, there were other masters whose work I devoured but ultimately they all served to stir a desire within me to want to compose such a work myself one day. And I kept my ears open until that day arrived.
To be sure, the only way forward as a creative artist is to respectfully bury one’s heroes (at least during the creative process) and as such, consciously drew from my own cognitive resources and wrote from an innate sense of exploration, adventure and profound desire to translate my world outlook, life experiences and their accompanying emotions into musical language.
Although new for me in a sense, this (ad)venture, proved to be amongst the most rewarding musical experiences of my life, and after spending many years performing and composing in myriad genres, particularly jazz, felt as though I had finally found my true voice as a composer. It really did feel like the most natural thing in the world – I had finally found my soul – home.
Consequently, Tempesta is a musical autobiography of sorts because it takes stock of all that came before and points assuredly to what is in store.
Regarding the actual music, as author Kate Grenville once pointed out, “Writing your own memoir is like drinking your own bath water”, so to this end, I will gracefully step aside and allow the exquisite Australian String Quartet to tell the rest of the story.
Joe Chindamo © 2016
This recording was made possible through the support of the Australian String Quartet Richard Divall Australian Music Fund. The ASQ would like to acknowledge the donors to this fund, who have helped support this recording which is part of an anthology of Australian string quartets:
Don & Veronica Aldridge, Roslyn Allen, Bernard & Jackie Barnwell, Brand Family Foundation, Nicholas Callinan AO & Libby Callinan, John & Christine Chamberlain, John & Libby Clayton, Caroline & Robert Clemente, Perri Cutten & Jo Daniell, Fleur Gibbs, Alan Gunther, Tim & Irena Harrington, Dr Penny Herbert in memory of Dunstan Herbert, Keith Holt & Anne Fuller, Rod & Elizabeth King, Angus Leitch, Glenda & Greg Lewin, PM Menz, Jo & Jock Muir, Allan Myers AC & Maria Myers AC, Tony & Margaret Pagone, MG Prichard & BE Panizza, Karin Penttila, Lady Potter AC, Susan M Renouf, Drs Paul Schneider & Margarite Silva, Diana Sher OAM & Jeffrey Sher QC, Rob & Jane Southey, Mary & Ian Steele, Gary & Janet Tilsley, Annie & Philip Young, Anonymous (3x)