TORUS (string quartet)
2007 (rev. 2012) 12′
Mivos Quartet, Roven Records, official release March 2015[audio:TORUS_ROVENRECORDS.mp3|titles=Torus|artists=Mivos Quartet]
Sample, Jack Quartet, 2014 live recording, MATA Festival[audio:Torus sample.mp3|titles=excerpt from Too Many Arguments|artists=JACK Quartet]
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Commissioned by Bargemusic in celebration of its 30th anniversary (1977-2007)
Premiered by the Flux Quartet in 2007.
Torus refers to a surface of revolution generated by revolving a circle in three dimensional space about an axis coplanar with the circle – in other words, a doughnut or a tire. More specifically, this work is inspired by the massive, threatening rusting sculptures of Richard Serra
In Torus (2012), Yotam Haber—MATA’s outgoing artistic director—set himself not one challenge, but two: the iconic string quartet form as his musical palette and, as his subject, the sculptures of Richard Serra. Haber’s work, no simple mimicry of the monumental, expressed the multiplicity of perspectives encountering a Serra sculpture entails. In another vital, accomplished performance from Mivos, the abrasiveness of rusted metal on the sculptures’ surface came into view. Opening with frenetic ensemble playing, the music continually shifted, evoking disoriented terror as it felt its way along inner curves in search of outer light. Silences figured as hesitations, as if the piece itself was uncertain how to proceed. Only at the end, in a flurry of quiet notes, was the whole revealed. This was music that not only existed as a finished work, but also performed the act of its creation. With sound alone, Haber taught us how to see.
The Brooklyn Rail, Susan Scheid 6/5/14