Relying predominantly on acoustic instrumentation, Quartet for Instruments compounds exploratory inspiration, precision, and elegance to create a work that is both evocative and absolute.
As a well-versed artist with many distinct styles, Tomas Phillips has released works on such notable labels as Trente Oiseaux, Line, NVO, and Koyuki, as well as having an extensive background in contemporary literature and fine arts.
Created with piano, clarinet, minimal electronics, and cello during a two-month residency program at Headlands Center for the Arts, outside of San Francisco, California, Quartet for Instruments stands as a delicate, yet flourishing example of directional music, set in a gentle, free-flowing pathway.
The piece is very much an extension of Intermission/Six Feuilles (Line, 2006), which attempted to harness various influences into a focused, composition-driven work. Where Quartet for Instruments
differs is in the depth of its arrangement and in the fact that it utilizes recordings (mostly piano and clarinet) of improv. Thus, it operates at the midpoint between composition and improvisation.
Like Intermission/Six Feuilles, it is also a fairly demanding piece in the sense that it relies on an aesthetic of duration with minimal repetition. It does contain movements, though these are not necessarily independent of one another; the piece is intended to function as a singularity with decisive variations.
Release description written by Will Thomas Long and Tomas Phillips