This string quartet (comprising of 1 violin, 1 viola, 1 cello, and 1 double bass) is somewhat tonal but also very dissonant and written in an early twentieth century Modern style. The octatonic and pentatonic (even blues) scale plays a large role throughout the string quartet. The work is fast and aggressive. The rhythm is idiosyncratic and unintuitive because of constantly changing odd time signatures. To typical string players, this will cause a great challenge, especially because the music required on-the-dot precise rhythmic playing.
The main influences for this work are Webern’s early “free atonal” works and the progressive heavy metal genre (especially bands like Symphony X and some of Dream Theater’s more dissonant works). In that regard, extended techniques were used to imitate typical sounds in a metal band – overdriven guitars and percussive playing. Section of this music are direct quotations and/or allusions to Dream Theater and Joe Satriani. However, it should be emphasized that this music is not an attempt to “do progressive metal on a string quartet”. Rather, the progressive metal genre was one of the inspirations for some of the sounds in this work. (For the former, I recommend the String Quartet Tribute to Dream Theater).
I wrote this string quartet during my junior year in college in composition class while studying with Gerry Levinson. The title of the work is derived from the work by Dream Theater, “Dance of Eternity”. There is one surprise in this work, which you will instantly recognize by listening to the recording or looking at the score.
performers on recording
Violin – Sophia Uddin
Viola – Dan Sito
Cello – Ben Dair
Double Bass – Regina Noto