For string quartet
First performance by the Consone Quartet at All Saints' Church, Boughton Aluph, June 24 2023 and subsequently broadcast on Radio 3.
Winner of the National Centre for Early Music Award 2022
Duration: 5 minutes
Arborescent was inspired by Amanda Gorman’s poetry collection, Call Us What We Carry (2022). In her three poems, Arborescent I, II & III, she compares human experiences to the growth of a tree: buried secrets akin to hidden roots, the effects of grief and trauma like a tree bent by winter winds, and an inherent urge to move towards hope and positivity, symbolized by the tree's upward growth towards the sun.
The music in Arborescent is based on the structural idea of a tree. It follows a similar pattern, starting simply and gradually becoming more complex, just like a tree with its growing branches and leaves. The sounds and techniques also evolve over time. Initially, it embodies the rich, melodic sound of period string instruments, and later transitions into the more contemporary tones of natural and artificial harmonics found in modern string music.
Whilst listening you may imagine exploring a tree; your line of sight moving from the base, to the progressively more verdant branches. Increasing life, vibrancy, and light through vertical ascent.