Skip to main content

Strings (Bowed)

Works for bowed strings (solo, solo + 1, string quartet, & string orchestra)


Three Strings : 3 related solos for ‘cello, viola & violin.

[= Twitch + Thrust + Torque]
2008-2013: 15 mins. 45 secs. approx.

All three works can be performed individually*, or as a set of three in any sequence as determined by the performers.

*Twitch. ‘cello. 2011 rev. 2013: 5 mins. approx.

*Thrust. violin. 2008: 6 mins. 45 secs. approx.

*Torque. viola. 2013: 4 mins. approx.


[1 of 3 movements of Three Strings or standalone work]
2013: 4 mins. approx.

to cause to rotate ot twist.
a force or system of forces that tend to cause rotation.
the tendency of a force applied to an object to make it rotate about an axis.

Torque was premiered by Phoebe Green, at the Church of All Nations, Carlton on 21/02/2015, as part of the Arcko Symphonic Ensemble composer portrait concert “…Like a Maelstrom”.

Score Sample (PDF)

with Phoebe Green after the premiere
Photo : Zachary Johnston


[1 of 3 movements of Three Strings or standalone work]
2011 rev. 2013: 5 mins. approx.


to move or cause to move in a spasmodic way.
to pull or draw something with a quick jerky movement.
to move (a part of the body) with a sudden motion.
to move convulsively.
Score Sample (PDF)


[1 of 3 movements of Three Strings or standalone work]
2008: 6 mins. 45 secs. aprox.

to push or drive quickly or forcibly.
to force one’s way.
a driving force or pressure.
a piercing movement made with or as if with a pointed weapon: a stab.
the thread or current of thought uniting or occuring in all the elements of a text or discourse.
the essence: the point..

Score Sample (PDF)

Solo + 1


viola + vibraphone.
[5th movement of Tortus or standalone work]
2018: 5 mins. approx.


viola + guitar.
[2nd movement of Tortus or standalone work]
2017: 5 mins. approx.

…in Coils…

viola + oboe.
[1st movement of Tortus or standalone work]
2011: 4 mins. 30 secs. approx.

…in Coils can be performed either as a standalone work, or as the first of six in Tortus.

“…the Drawling-master…taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.”
from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

“…Cogs and disks, inane mechanic whims,
And idle coils of jargon yet unspoken…”
from Sonnet : To Eva by Sylvia Plath.

…in Coils was completed in January 2011 and is approx. 4 1/2 mins. long.

Score Sample (PDF)



string quartet.
2001 rev. 2011: 15 mins. approx.

proxima: Latin: from proximus = nearest, next, adjoining, close.

Proxima was premiered by the Silo String Quartet.
Score Sample (PDF)

String Orchestra

winding down

minimum 4,4,2,2,2.
2015: 11 mins. 30 secs.

winding down is for String Orchestra: minimum forces of 4/4/2/2/2, divided as follows:
2+2/2+2/1+1/1+1/1 +1

The players should be spaced evenly in the following sequence: Cb1 – Vc1 – Va1 – Vn2.a – Vn1.a – Vn1.b – Vn2.b – Va2 – Vc2 – Cb2

“Cylinder teeth comb the signature tune
Audience breathless, my dance has resumed.
Prima ballerina only when wound…
…Pirouette until the lid’s closed.
…the key to life is winding down
…out of breath, out of time…..
motionless………sans la musique”
from Musique Box, lyrics by Madeleine McKenzie

“Sans musique la vie serait une erreur”
from Twilight of the Idols, by Friedrich Nietzsche

…floating in the void…

minimum 4,4,2,2,1.
1995 rev. 2005: 8 mins. 30 secs.

…floating in the void… is for String Orchestra: minimum forces of 4/4/2/2/1, divided as follows: 2+2/2+2/1+1/1+1/1

The ideal performance set-up would see a relatively small audience seated in a circle (preferably on the floor) facing inwards to where the conductor would be standing. The audience would in turn be encircled by the players, who would be spaced evenly in the following sequence: Vn1.a – Vn2.a – Va1 – Vc1 – Cb – Vc2 – Va2 – Vn2.b – Vn1.b

Lighting should be kept to the minimum required for performance, and the audience should be encouraged to listen to the performance with their eyes closed.

In circumstances where this is clearly not a practical possibility, the players should at least be spread in sequence as much as possible to at least partially convey the effect the ideal set-up would realise. In all such cases, the solitary Cb should be situated centre-front in relation to the audience.

“…I am now quite alone…
here floating in the void,
only dimly aware of existence,
a dimly existing awareness…”
from Pioneers over c, by Peter Hammill.

…floating in the void… was premiered by the Arcko Symphonic Project at the Richmond Uniting Church, Melbourne, on 30/5/2009, under the direction of Timothy Phillips.

Score Sample (PDF)

Arcko Symphonic Project / Timothy Phillips.