String Quartet no. 1

by Ben Shaw

II. Solemn 05:23


This piece was written between August of 2016 and early July of 2017. Composed mostly using pitch set theory, the variety of melodies and harmonies all stem from these single threads and help give the movements a cohesive sound and a quasi-tonal quality. When writing this piece, I envisioned it as a sort of ballet where the melodies and counterpoint weave around each other in a tight dance in which themes are constantly traded and explored throughout the ensemble, blurring the lines of where each voice ends and the next begins. Each movement progresses an expressive narrative that careens at blazing speeds, laments in anguish, and finally culminates in an almost primal fury.

Many thanks to Marissa Licatta, Asuka Usui, Jason Fisher, and Javier Caballero for learning and performing this piece, to Bridge Studios for recording it, and to Alla Cohen for her guidance.


released July 21, 2017

Violin I: Marissa Licatta
Violin II: Asuka Usui
Viola: Jason Fisher
Cello: Javier Caballero


all rights reserved



Ben Shaw Rhode Island

Composer, Performer, Writer

contact / help

Contact Ben Shaw

Streaming and
Download help

Report this album or account

If you like Ben Shaw, you may also like: