asq australian string quartet australian anthology sebastian collen riconoscenza

Sebastian Collen: Riconoscenza


Commissioned as part of the ‘ASQ Encore’ project with funds received from Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund, and made possible with thanks to generous support form the Thyne Reid Foundation.

Performed by the Australian String Quartet, 2021
Dale Barltrop – Violin 1
Francesca Hiew – Violin 2
Christopher Cartlidge – Viola
Michael Dahlenburg – Cello

Composed by Sebastian Collen, 2020
Produced by Jakub Gaudasinski
Recording Engineer Tom Henry
Mixed & Mastered by Jakub Gaudasinski

Recorded at ABC Adelaide, South Australia, Kaurna Country, September 2021

Artwork – Jim Tsinganos Illustration
Art Direction – Cul-de-Sac Creative
Angelina Zucco – ASQ Chief Executive
Sophie Emery ASQ Operations Manager

Special thanks to Sebastian Collen for his valued support of this release.


When I was approached by the ASQ to write a piece to be played as an encore, it led me to considering the relationship between the musicians and audience within a performance space. An encore represents an expression of mutual gratitude for the experience of music shared by those present. This appreciation is something that is particularly poignant in the COVID era, when participation in live music has taken on a renewed sense of being special. It seemed to me that this thankfulness was more than just a response to the music; it also formed part of the experience of the moment. The Italian word for gratitude – riconoscenza – reflects this idea, literally meaning acknowledgement.

The piece approaches this material through persistent and bristling dynamism, which is present in its frequently interjecting rhythmic fragments, harmonic contrasts, and rapid colour changes. The quartet bounces these musical ideas back and forth between parts, focussing on the dialogue created by many small interactions. These coalesce toward the end of the work with a canonic passage that becomes increasingly close-knit.

Sebastian Collen 2022


Sebastian Collen is an Adelaide-based composer and musician, and recently completed his doctoral studies at Elder Conservatorium of Music. Writing predominantly for chamber ensembles, his musical style is influenced by his ongoing interest in Neoplasticism, and in abstraction through simplicity in colour and geometry. His recent works focus on microtonality in pipe organ music, using the mechanics of the instrument to manipulate pitch and timbre through extended performance techniques. Sebastian also works with electronic music, particularly sound-art based on hardware design. Having a passion for multidisciplinary collaborations, Sebastian enjoys creating work with a range of artists, particularly dancers and creative writers, exploring parallel modes of creative expression.

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