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stewboy

Jūra

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This is the first string quartet I've ever written. I generally don't enjoy string-only ensembles, maybe because I didn't really grow up around strings at all. So writing this piece was really like pulling teeth a bit. I only really started to be okay with this piece when I was about three quarters of the way through and I finally got kind of a sense of the overall structure - before that I was floundering and feeling lost the whole time.

This piece was written for a collaboration with the University of Stirling Art Gallery, which is running a Refugee Week in June with artwork and the like about refugees and their stories. I couldn't think what to do, but eventually decided to take an old Latvian folksong ('Jūrā gāju naudu sēti') and see how I could transform it, since two of my grandparents were refugees from Latvia. This is also something I've never tried before - taking someone else's musical material and working with it.

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