Daniel Thomas Davis
In the fall semester of 2016, participants in Daniel Thomas Davis’s composition studio were given the opportunity to work with the world-renowned Momenta Quartet. Waters is a string quartet written in anticipation of this collaboration. The piece premiered at the “Momenta: Music Now!” concert on December 2, 2016, at Binghamton University, appearing on the program between Hommage à Abolhasan Saba… by Iranian composer Idin Samini Mofakham and the last piece on the program— Black Angels by George Crumb. In the score there are many expression and technique markings in Italian, which is often the best way to communicate with performers. “Spiccato” is a term that refers to bouncing the bow on the string. “Pizzicato” (or pizz.) refers to plucking the string, as opposed to “arco” (bowing). “Sul Ponticello” (sul pont, SP) and “Sul Tasto” (ST) both refer to where on the string the player places his or her bow: Sul pont (“close to the bridge”), gives a more metallic sound with higher overtones, while Sul tasto (“close to the fingerboard”), mutes the overtones and creates a more ethereal sound. These techniques are found primarily in the third movement, where instruments are constantly shifting between these different sounds, with the viola using circular bowing. The score also calls for the use of harmonics, vibrating the string at one of its natural overtones, which creates a pure, glassy sound, as seen in the beginning of the second movement (Vln II) and at the beginning (Cello) and end (Vln I and II) of the third movement.
Ritter, Z. J. (2017). Waters. Alpenglow: Binghamton University Undergraduate Journal of Research and Creative Activity, 3(1). Retrieved from https://orb.binghamton.edu/alpenglowjournal/vol3/iss1/3