Lux in Tenebris – String Quartet No. 2 (2014)

5 movements for string quartet:

I. Prologue: Out of dust
II. Chasing after wind
III. Lux in tenebris lucet…
IV. No more fear: only Love
V. Epilogue: Return to dust

Premiere:  02.12.2015, Timothy Steeves, Boson Mo, violins; Jarita Ng, viola; Max Geissler, cello.

Duration:  ca. 29 min

Program Notes:  Lux in Tenebris reflects on two extramusical subjects that continually surface in my compositional work: time and human existence. These subjects governed my overall structural scheme, resulting in what I might describe as a story told without words. It’s not that the story has no words, but rather that my own use of words is often counterproductive. Thus, Lux in Tenebris has reminded me why I began to compose in the first place. Some things cannot be adequately expressed verbally. Sometimes, mysteriously, music can go a step or two beyond the realm of words.

This story unfolds in a symmetrical cycle: five movements with overlapping musical threads running through them all. The movement titles (a deliberate exception to my “without words” dictum) identify the story’s five phases. Life begins and ends in “dust” (movements I and V) and it is between these bookends that a person’s journey plays out. The middle movement, Lux in tenebris lucet… (a light shines in the darkness), marks a turning point, a transformation. The transformation comes into focus once one hears the contrasting atmospheres in which an important musical theme is presented in movements II and IV.

Listen to movements I and II played by Enso String Quartet below:

Watch the premiere of Lux in Tenebris below: