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An hour of contemporary music for string quartet, exploring timescales in human memory and the natural environment.

String Quartet No.3 by Philip Glass forms the core of the programme, with the mesmerising cross rhythms and hypnotic quality for which the composer is so well known. Based on music Glass wrote for a film based on the life of Japanese author Yukio Mishima, this short quartet references moments in the writer’s life.

Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s work is deeply inspired by the elemental landscapes of her native country. Her work for strings explores primordial textures, combining emotional intensity with glacial stasis.

A pioneer of interdisciplinary art, for over five decades, Meredith Monk has worked across composition, performance, choreography and direction. She has developed a unique style which links the archaic with the experimental. Stringsongs was written for the Kronos Quartet in 2005, and has been described by critic Tom Service as having a ‘mysterious mythic power’.  

Spectra                                       Anna Thorvaldsdottir   10mins

Stringsongs                                Meredith Monk             10mins

1.Obsidian Choral

2. Phantom Strings

Reflections                                 Anna Thorvaldsdottir   10mins

String Quartet No.3 ‘Mishima‘    Philip Glass               20mins

Bristol’s only professional orchestra, Bristol Ensemble plays an important role in culture and music education in Bristol and the West of England, working with outstanding artists to present a vibrant and varied annual programme of concerts and events in the region’s major venues.