IN ORBIT – a moving quartet (2017)
for violin, clarinet, cello and piano

Like planets wheeling through the sky, this music spins across the stage. It traverses space, opening expanses where notes and melodies can resonate. The folk tradition grounds its scales, tunes, and techniques. The piano appears as a marvelous box of sounds that can be operated in many ways – not just from the keys. Its walls hold strings both thick and long, thin and small, that can all be played directly.

Like planets, the musicians all move in orbits of their own. They trade places and positions and bounce sounds from one part of the room to another in a kind of musical game. The violin and cello use their entire registers, from deepest dark to brightest light. The clarinet spins and wheels, sometimes with the other instruments, sometimes to its own beat. And just as our planets are bound up in a system – the solar system – whose laws keep everything in place and in balance, so too are these notes, these rhythms and these musicians bound together in this particular music.


In Orbit was composed for Ensemble Alpaca of Trondheim, Norway.
It was premiered at the Stangvik Festival in July 2016

– Karin Rehnqvist



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