Lois V Vierk

for string quartet


Currents of sound made up of string phrases and textures of tremolos, glissandos, sustained sounds, and highly articulated and accented passages flow through this piece. The currents alternately co-exist, separate, and coalesce, in their gradual transformation from a gentle beginning to a dynamic conclusion.

At the beginning of the work, the first violin and cello act together to form one "sound scape". This shape interacts with the sound shape of the second violin and viola. Throughout the piece two or more instruments always act together to form one shape, one sound. the music unfolds slowly. The constant transforming and developing of the sound shapes and relationships employ principles which I call "exponential structure". This has to do with rates of change of musical materials, which in this work are constantly increasing by an exponential factor.

The tern "river beneath the river" comes from the Spanish expression "rio abajo rio", which refers to the innermost soul, the depest expression of a human.

This work was commissioned by the Barbican Center of London for the Kronos Quartet.


Recording is by: 

Eva Gruesser, violin

Patricia Davis, violin

Lois Martin, viola

Bruce Wang, cello

from CD:

Tzadik 7056 "Lois V Vierk: River Beneath the River"

Click here to view the CD on Tzadik.


Click here to view the score.