Engine Trouble (2017)

for string quartet

Duration: ca. 6'00"

Commissioned by the Aspen Music Festival and School

  • Premiere
    July 28, 2017
    Brian Allen, Rubén Rengel, violins; Abby Elder, viola; Guilherme Monegatto, cello
    Harris Concert Hall
    Aspen, CO

Growing up on a canal in Florida, my Dad would sometimes let me take our secondhand boat out to go fishing with friends. The engine was a bit unreliable though, and sometimes it wouldn’t start when we wanted to come back home, forcing us to pull the boat back ourselves, wading and swimming through the shallow water.

In Engine Trouble you’ll hear the motor running smoothly at first, only for something to get stuck inside causing it to lose steam. It builds up some momentum only to putter out once again, leaving one final attempt to get the motor running.