New string quartet inspired by museum collections

Devon Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum have come together to commission new chamber works in response to objects in the museum, as part of the 2020 CoMA Festival. Anna’s commission, inspired by the case of 18th and 19th century pocket watches in the local history gallery, is timepiece.

timepiece is a minimalist work for string quartet with elements of percussion – a chime and optional mechanical metronome – played by the string players. It brings to life the cabinet of tiny clockwork mechanisms, building a multilayered euphony as motifs gradually layer upon each other. Rhythms, harmonies and textures grow as the structure evokes seconds, minutes, hours, and the night-chimes of the early pocket watches on the
quarter-hours which allowed the carrier to tell the time in the dark before gas or
electric light was invented.

Members of Devon Philharmonic Orchestra will give the world premiere performance of timepiece in Exeter, beside the case of pocket watches that inspired it, on Saturday 7th March. Tickets are on sale from the museum.

 

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