Focus: Cassandra Miller





Playthrough of a piece, followed by a pause with an opportunity for background information and context to be shared, and finally a second performance of the piece, allowing for informed listening.

Following the success of the first two editions of the “Focus” series, launched in 2017, the Quatuor Bozzini returns this year with a concert devoted to Cassandra Miller and her piece, Warblework, written for the quartet. This series aims to help the listener immerse themselves in diverse ways, offering them different means of engaging with and listening to the composition. A piece is played once straight through, and is then explained and put into context by members of the quartet and guests. A second, “informed,” playthrough follows, allowing the public the opportunity to listen to the piece once more with a new perspective. This process allows the dissemination of new music to reach a public whose horizons are constantly expanding.

Each of Warblework ’s four movements (warble = chirp) is based on birdsong — in particular of four thrushes (Swainson’s thrush, hermit thrush, wood thrush, veery thrush) — whose songs follow the harmonic series. When this birdsong is slowed down, they reveal incredibly human-like melodies. These four movements therefore put forth a sort of poem of the regional sounds from the Pacific Coast and its forests. While the thrushes move through the harmonic series, a tune in slow motion reveals melodies accented in folk and old jazz standard traditions.