• vl1.vl2.va.vc
  • 6 min

Programme Note

"Archi" for string quartet was written on commission from Kaustby chamber music week to be performed by a number of string quartets by Pehr Henrik Nordgren (1944-2008). Nordgren had a great interest in Japanese music and as a small link between our musical worlds, I let "Archi" be based on a seven-note scale that is common in Japanese folk music (you hear these seven notes mainly at the beginning and end of the piece).

In the world of music, "archi" means strings and is the word used for a group of string instruments, for example the string section of an orchestra. Here we are dealing with four string instruments, which are treated as equals: All four play largely the same music, often even in the same octave, but with small shifts and variations between the different voices.

"Archi" also means archways, vaults or curves and I have imagined the shape of my work as a single arch; there are no "clips" in the music, but it takes the form of a single long exhalation where all changes occur gradually, almost imperceptibly. I also came to associate some famous lines from Tomas Tranströmer's poem "Romanska bågar":

"Inside you, vault after vault opens endlessly.
You're never done, and that's the way it should be.

Britta Byström