The Eclat Cycle is a series of nine string quartets composed over a two year period for various performers and friends I knew from the Eastman School of Music. Some of these friends went on to form wonderful ensembles dedicated to new music, including the JACK Quartet, who eventually went on to perform the entire cycle. The quartets began as a set of three very short ones, each barely over a minute long, which I called Trois Eclats (three bursts), and they were to be my sole contribution to the literature. When I heard them, I liked them all so much that I decided to write another three which I called Trois Plus Eclats (three more bursts). This quickly led to a third set of three entitled Trois Eclats Finales (three final bursts).
The idea behind the quartets was that each would be composed in a single burst of creativity, within a single 2 or 3 hour sitting, with minimal or no revisions afterward. In this sense, they are entirely intuitive, though each carries its own inner logic. In addition, I decided to focus on a particular technique for each one. For instance, the first is based on harmonic trills; the fifth uses circular bowing; while the sixth is played entirely behind the bridge. I also gave each one its own title, since each embodies its own personality, its own world. These are reproduced below:
1. A tiny scream…
2. Augusta’s Lament
TROIS PLUS ECLATS:
5. “Mournfully slowly they roll…”
6. His Royal Badness
TROIS ECLATS FINALES:
7. Branches in Winter
SCORE AND PARTS ARE AVAILABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE COMPOSER.