Contemporary string quartet receives grant to create seven new works, all by Australian composers.

The NOISE, an exciting young contemporary string quartet, has received an Australia Council grant, which has enabled them to commission seven new works. The brief for each of the seven Australian composers includes a requirement to have to have a crucial element of improvisation or chance in their piece. Since their foundation in 2008 improvisation has been at the heart of everything this innovative quartet does. Indeed the NOISE usually performs only its own improvised compositions.

The composers chosen to take on the challenge are Andrew Ford, Rosalind Page, Lyle Chan, Paul Cutlan, Andrew Batt-Rawden, Alex Pozniak and Amanda Cole.

It is hoped that the ground-breaking project will create a significant addition to the string quartet repertoire in Australia as both composers and performers are asked to grapple with new concepts.

Amanda Cole, for example, whose most recent piece Aether was written for Microtonal Glass Harmonica, is developing a polymetric “light-metronome”. Lyle Chan is creating a work that utilises concepts of game-theory, Rosalind Page is exploring the work of film-maker, Andrei Tarkovsy and Andrew Batt-Rawden will be using graphic notation.

The quartet hope to provoke thought, feeling and a sense of playfulness and believe that audiences should be able to enjoy the live creative processes involved in the performance of these works – performances which may produce quite different musical results each time.

Andrew Ford’s String Quartet No 4 has already been work-shopped and the NOISE plan to record all of the works for Vexations840 in June. A grand concert is then on the cards of all seven works at Sydney’s Cell Block Theatre (National Art School, Darlinghurst) in late August.

NOISE fundraiser from James Eccles on Vimeo.