String Trio No. 4 is in four movements, although it is designed so that the 2nd movement (entitled, “Main Movement”) can stand on its own. The 1st and 4th (Prelude and Postlude) consist solely of non-sounding motions, most of which are based on those required to play stringed instruments. Formally speaking, the Prelude elucidates a pattern that becomes central to the Main Movement. The 3rd movement, called “Homage to Henry Cowell”, in addition to further flushing out things dealt with in the Main Movement, deals with the fact that a harmony, sufficiently slowed down, becomes a polyrhythm, something Cowell discusses in his book New Musical Resources.
Listen to part of the “Main Movement” (Bit20 ensemble):
String Trio No. 4 (full score)
Bit20 performed the Main Movement at the 2012 Borealis Festival. Sonar Quartett performed the entire piece in a concert at Galleri IKM in Oslo, funded by Norsk Musikkfond.