This work was a test piece for the International string Quartet competition in 2005, Premio Paulo Borciani, It was inspired by a keyboard piece of the same name, A Sad Paven for these Distracted Tymes by Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656). Tomkins had a long association with Worcester Cathedral, where he was organist - appointed magister choristarum in 1596 - and lived within the precincts until shortly before his death. At the same time, he was organist of the Chapel Royal. When the city of Worcester surrendered to Cromwell's parliamentary forces in 1646, Tomkins had to watch the hasty dismantling of his cathedral organ and the abolition of all choral services. These were the 'distracted tymes' of the 'sad paven' which he wrote in enforced retirement at Worcester.