On 20th April 2018, Malaysian and Singapore-based composer, Adeline Wong will have her string quartet Interweaves performed by OpusNovus.
About the composer
Adeline Wong’s involvement in new music scene in the late 2000’s resulted in a number of compositions including Snapshots (2005), Chermin (2006), Empunya yang beroleh Sita Dewi (2007), Longing (2010; revised 2012), Interweaves (2016), Nexus (2016) amongst others. Adeline’s music has often been described as bold, with textural energy and kaleidoscopic colours. Although her music has no direct Malaysian influences, one can hear its undertones set in western soundscapes.
Her works have been performed by the Belgian National Orchestra, Orkest de ereprijs, the Netherlands, Bang on A Can USA, The Song Company Australia, MiNesemblet Norway, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. Adeline is a faculty member of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore where she teaches music composition and theory.
More information on the composer’s music can be found at www.adelinewong.com
On Interweaves (2016, rev. 2017)
“as little as possible” ….
My recent music is marked by the use and concentration of as little material as possible, and exploring it from every possible perspective, pushing the limits of all possibilities. This resulted in my conception of a series of five connected pieces. In this process, musical materials used in the ending of a piece are now utilized in the beginning of a new one, thus taking on an organic, circular quality, while at the same time, progressing forward to new instrumentation. Interweaves for string quartet is the first of this series of connected pieces.
Interweaves is written in a series of episodes. While the form has a mosaic character, each episode draws its material from the central section, which is inspired by the voice of Azan (call to prayer). The phrases and form of the prayer are beautiful: the voice has a limited range, it uses downward slides and melisma and each repetition is ornamented and extended.
Throughout the work, the strings play downward glissandi, 2-note slides, melisma, trills, repeated notes and short motifs taken from the central section, in particular, a descending 4-note figure. The materials are never fully developed, but build up intensity towards the prayerful central section. After a meditative hymn-like passage, the work slowly dissolves leaving the quartet to end the work with short repeated gestures recalling two important pitches in the work E flat and A flat.
The writing of the quartet can be described as ‘an emotion of the texture’. Throughout the work, one can identify various textures evoking different moods – momentarily aggressive, mysterious, intense, lyrical, and prayerful.