Atlas 6: Gallery

michael macrone : music

quartet 11:11
(zeus quartet #1)
1989. Co-written by Randy Porter. Originally performed by Paula White (violin), Thea Farhadian (violin), Adrienne Karrebrock Richter (viola), and James Jacobs (cello) at the Crowden School, Berkeley.





michael macrone and randy porter have exactly this much to say about quartet 11:11 (Zeus Quartet No. 1) :

"We undertook this joint composition for a number of good reasons, which are so good we needn't rehearse them here.

"The title is also a collaboration, joining together our remembrances of childhood delight in clocks with myths of the usurping of fathers. It won't help your understanding of the piece (even assuming that were desirable), but you may think of the figure '11:11' as a double bifurcation of indivisible unities - pairing and division, reflection and identity. Not exactly like fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, violin and violin, but probably worth saying maybe once.

"In the mid-1970s, the telling of time was transformed. The arrival of the digital clock gave time's diplay new visual meaning. The particluar hour '11:11" - a suggested brunching time - has been especially significant to us. It is the only time when we can marvel at four identical digits, beautiful in their simplicity. The event was a source of endless amazement to our families, who could witness it twice daily, like clockwork. It was a ritual that transformed time, human experience, and literacy. 'The clock struck ones' -- four of them, to be exact. Now suppose that each '1' represents the correct amount of Arabian horsehair necessary to string a bow. A string quartet should inevitably follow. The possible juxtapositions are endless: 1111, 1111, or ... 1111, etc.

"Why two composers and only one piece? Well, like time, like 11:11 itself, it has to do with change and new ways of thinking .... "

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