Work Type: Chamber, Classical

Instrumentation: String quartet

Duration: 18-20 minutes

I. Tranquillitatis
II. Umbrae
III. Furoris
IV. Lacrimarum
V. Somni

Mares has the personal significance of being my first large-scale piece. It takes its title from the Latin for ‘seas’, and is structured loosely around the phases of the moon. It utilizes the idea of symmetry in a number of ways, both within and between movements, and can be conceived of as a progression of mental and emotional states.

The first movement, Tranquillitatis (of tranquility) begins the piece with a cold, distant feel, unemotional and impersonal. The second, Umbrae (of shadows), maintains a distance, but is more playful and engaging. The third, Furoris (of madness), is about emotional turmoil – the barriers in the previous movements are lowered, and the result is a manic-depressive outburst, intense and jarring. The fourth movement, Lacrimarum (of tears), re-establishes the distance set up in the first two movements, and is more a portrait of lamentation than a lamentation itself. The final movement, Somni (of sleep), closes the piece with a gentle, warm elegy.

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