String Quartet No. 3

Year Composed: 2014
Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello
Duration 13 minutes

I. Gliding
II. Winds of Change

Audio Excerpts (MP3)

Program Notes

My Third String Quartet represents a broad attempt to weave some of my cherished musical influences into a coherent whole. In an effort to explore the roots of my musical identity, I have tried to find common ground among a diverse array of perspectives. The first movement, “Gliding,” follows an arch-like structure in which a lyrical melody, part Far East folk song and part Renaissance chorale, bookends a middle section inspired by the driving rhythms of progressive heavy metal. These disparate elements are united by an ever-shifting ground of odd meters; and with it, a sense of free-flowing spontaneity and abandon.

The second movement, “Winds of Change,” is based on an earlier work of mine that I have adapted many times for different ensembles. In this version, the theme—a buoyant, minor-key dance in 6/8—competes with wry quotations from Christian Petzold’s famous Minuet in G against the backdrop of an aggressive drone suggestive of world-music-inflected electronica. At times these references collide uneasily, threatening to blow apart the entire discourse; ultimately, however, the movement is a celebration of the joyous urgency which lies beneath the surface of all music-making.

Skratch Bastid’s remix, Skratch my Bach, playfully riffs on the Minuet quotation, both in spirit and title (as the tune is often misattributed to Bach.) My response—Second Wind—brings the world of the DJ and the quartet into intimate proximity. The tension inherent in the dialogue between both traditions is dramatized by a fiery duel between the first violinist and her sampled counterpart.


  • May 23, 2015 - Afiara String Quartet. Mazzoleni Hall, Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto

CD Release

  • Title: Spin Cycle
  • Executive Producers: Afiara Quartet, Christos Hatzis
  • Producer: Theresa Leonard
  • Centrediscs Producer: Allegra Young
  • Original Music by: Dinuk Wijeratne, Laura Silberberg, Rob Teehan, Kevin Lau
  • Performed by: Valerie Li (violin), Timothy Kantor (violin), Eric Wong (viola), Adrian Fung (cello); Skratch Bastid (turntables)
  • Mastering: Pouya Hamidi
  • Available for purchase at:

Commissions and Awards

  • Commissioned by the Afiara String Quartet.
  • JUNO nomination for Best Instrumental Album (2016)

Audio and Video

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