Levels was written in 2007 for the Post Quartet (Mizuka Yamamoto, Jennifer Allum violins, Richard Jones viola, Becky Dixon cello). The viola player had injured his left hand, and the quartet asked several composers to write pieces using only the right hand. This effectively entailed playing only the open strings, and I decided to tune the 16 strings of the quartet to 15 different pitches (one pitch shared between 2nd violin and cello).
The piece is harmonically static, using sustained sounds of different lengths (a few pizzicati occurring towards the end). The fixed array of 15 pitches is heard in different sequences and combinations. The process can be likened to that of a searchlight illuminating different parts of a façade, which otherwise remains in darkness. (Michael Parsons)
released March 30, 2016
Post Quartet: Mizuka Yamamoto, Jennifer Allum violins; Richard Jones viola; Becky Dixon cello