for String Quartet
Duration: 13 min
Premiere: Third Angle New Music Ensemble - July 7, 1998; Eugene, OR
Publisher: ARSIS Press (Washington, D.C.)
I. Electrical Impulse
II. Mechanical Impulse
III. Nerve Impulse
The simplest definition of the word impulse is the transmission of information from one place to another. In this information age, these impulses (electrical and mechanical) are as immediate as the air we breathe. As people, our own internal impulses (nerve) work to prioritize this increasingly frantic transfer. Musically, the pulse that lives in a composition is also a movement of information. The composer impulsively responds to an idea in her brain and that idea then is moved forward in time and space to an ear attached to another brain – the listener. Music is, by its nature, an impulsive act, not visible to the eye, but understood by all who listen.