Mosquitoes for harp quartet was commissioned by 4Girls 4Harps and was premiered at the Ryedale Festival UK in 2015.
It is a work that uses many extended avant-garde techniques including glissandos with finger nails and with the tuning key, tapping the instrument with different parts of the hands and sliding postcards up the metal strings. The rapid bisbigliando effect is employed throughout the piece to imitate the sound and motion of the mosquito in flight.
There is great drama and humour occurring and there are many surprises in store as the piece progresses. It starts unusually with a big explosion and the thunder effect and is followed by an extended passage where the quartet becomes a percussion ensemble using the hands, feet, clapping and voice.
In the next section harpist number 2 takes the leading roll but is constantly interrupted by the presence of a mosquito, and more mosquitoes try to take control of the environment leading to a big climax. As things settle down harp 2 kills the other 3 harpist by hitting their soundboards. Then follows a similar section going to an even bigger climax, this time the mosquitoes slowly die having been sprayed by an insect killer, leading to a gentle death march.


Written 2015

Four Harps
Length 10′

Commission:  by 4Girls 4Harps
Dedication: 4Girls 4Harps
Publisher: Joseph Weinberger

World Premiere
Ryedale Festival, 30th Jul 2015
4Girls 4Harps

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