This piece was composed for the Oberon String Quartet Composition Contest. The guidelines of the competition were to follow the process that Benjamin Franklin used for his string quartet. Mainly to use three violins, and a cello as opposed to the more traditional two violins, viola, and cello. The instruments were also called upon to employ a technique called scordatura, which is the retuning of the instruments into unfamiliar arrangements. The composer could then only use the open strings of the instruments and open harmonics.
I wrote this piece with Benjamin Franklin in mind, so I tried to write something that maybe he would have written. I chose a Gavotte and Minuet because he was a Francophile, and the US’s first ambassador to France.
The piece was performed February 26th 2013 by the Oberon String Quartet, Richmond VA.
Alana Pritchard Carithers – Violin I
Molly Sharp – Violin II
Susy Yim – VIolin III
William J. Comita – Cello