String Quartet No.2 ‘Postnuclear Winterscenario’
String Quartet No.2 ‘Postnuclear Winterscenario’ is based on Postnuclear Winterscenario for piano solo, composed on January 23 1991, just after the Gulf War broke out. I felt speechless and unable to compose. In the media, meteorologists predicted apocalyptic consequences for the climate and the environment, similar to the effects of a nuclear war. They called it a ‘postnuclear winterscenario’. I then decided to express my speechlessness in music and wrote the piece in just a few hours, perhaps the simplest music I ever wrote. A looped ‘melody’ consisting of one single note, the E, is accompanied by just four different notes: B, A, G, F#. No rhythmic, melodic or harmonic developments. The main way of expression is in the repetition and the delivery.
Musicians asked me to arrange other ’scenarios’ and so I wrote different and more melodic versions for choir, for percussion, for one and two guitars, for two pianos, for string quartet, for saxophone quartet, for string orchestra and finally in 2005 for symphony orchestra. Each scenario is a bit different, but they all have in common speechlessness about war and devastation.