Composition Department

Clint Needham, DM, May 2010

Excerpts from String Quartet No. 1 "shades of green" (2006)  [7:00]

Kuttner Sting Quartet, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University

Clint Needham was appointed Associate Professor of Music at Ohio Wesleyan University in July 2010.  Clint's music is published by Brass Chamber Music Press, Southern Music Company, Triplo Press and by the composer.  The University of North Texas Symphonic Band has recorded his young band work entitled Images of a Hero on their 2008 release entitled "The First Frank Ticheli Composition Contest" and the American Brass Quintet has recorded his Brass Quintet No. 1 "Circus" on their 2007 Summit Records release entitled "Jewels."


While lying under a tree, listening to Vivaldi's Four Seasons at the Aspen Music Festival in the summer of 2005, I sketched three poems about nature.  Some time later I came back to these poems and decided to try to capture the essence floating in the air that day.  The first poem depicts a breeze gently blowing across a field.  The second poem describes how the winds begin to blow harder, causing the Aspen trees to glimmer in the sunlight.  Also portrayed in the poem are the icy winds that blow down from the mountain tops.  The third poem describes how the sunlight streams through the trees, creating a halo amongst the top of the forest canopy. 

More importantly, the work itself is about cycles.  Nature cycles (day to night, seasonal, moon, tides, etc.), life cycles, and even cycles in music make their way into the piece, both consciously and subconsciously.  The work is a homage to nature and to the affective spirit found in the music of Vivaldi.

String Quartet No. 1 "shades of green" received second prize in the 2006 Washington International Competition for Composers and was awarded the 2006 Indiana University Kuttner String Quartet Composition Competition. 

The 2005-2006 Kuttner String Quartet members were violinists Sarah Kim and Robin Scott, violist Yoojin Cho and cellist Ana Kim.  The quartet is comprised of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music string students who are chosen by competition to spend a year working together under chamber music faculty.