Theme and Variations for String Quartet
Doctor of Musical Arts
This piece contains a theme and nine variations exploring a chromatic harmonic pattern. The variations range from gentle and whimsical to stark and serious to wild and virtuosic, all within a world of romantic, futuristic idealism inspired by the music of Olivier Messiaen, Ben Johnston, Kelley Polar, and Morgan Geist. An important concern in the composition of this piece was flexibility in its tuning possibilities---the quartet may be performed in either twelve-tone equal temperament or strict five-limit just intonation, or an intuitive compromise between the two.