Set Fire to Have Light (String Quartet)

String Quartet (2004) ca. 10+’

Originally written as a quintet, this was premiered by the Barbad Chamber Orchestra, Ramin Heydarbeygi, director. It was also performed by string orchestra before I rearranged it for quartet in 2006.

Here’s a video with Baiba Lasmane, Ginta Alžane (violins), Tatjana Borovika (Viola) and Dina Puķite (Cello), from their performance with my ensemble at Rigas Jaunais Teatris on June 18, 2007 in Riga, Latvia:

Program Note:

The title is taken from a poem by Rumi, the implication being that in order to have enlightement one must be on fire about it; one must be passionate. This is the necessary state to be in if you want to communicate the nature of the music to a listener. The piece employs Arabic rhythmic (iqa’at) and scalar (maqamat) modes. I wasn’t trying to write an overtly Arabic piece, but rather to see what I could derive from an exploration of these specific materials.

1 thought on “Set Fire to Have Light (String Quartet)”

  1. We are now rehearsing Charlie’s “Set fire to have light”, which we will perform next October 14th and 15th. We are having lots of fun with the piece, and find it not only very inspired and well written but also extremely cool! As performers of many Latin American pieces, we find the middle eastern groove very close in heart. Bravo for a great piece!
    the Madison String Quartet

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