Bone Needles II


Bone Needles II


string quartet

  • Premiere: 20 February 2007 / The Cutting Room, NYC / Sweet Plantain String Quartet
  • Instrumentation: string quartet
  • Duration: 4'

Program Note

Bone Needles II, for string quartet, began as a work for two voices and dance - a collection of abstract vocal sounds (rather than words) subtitled "A Working Song".  Markings within the score ("summoning", "weaving" and "casting off") guide an exchange that I imagined after watching a group of women in Nicaragua repairing nets on the beach with long needles made from fish bones.

After a thin, sharp object - which might very well have been one of their bone needles - pierced my foot on that same trip, the image of their sewing took on a richer meaning: as they continued to mend their nets, I was at work mending in a different way.  In Bone Needles II, I explore the way in which four lines might mend together, working and weaving, driven by an inward focus that manifests itself in an outward musical expression.

Commissioned by Composers Concordance for the Sweet Plantain String Quartet with funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, Bone Needles II was premiered on 20 February 2007 at The Cutting Room in New York City.

— Gilda Lyons, 2006