Orianna Webb -- Works
The Time Being (for quartet)
In The Time Being, zones of clarity and transparency give way to zones of translucency or haziness, and back again, all over a musical pattern that repeats throughout the entire piece (an ostinato). In thinking about writing for this group of instruments, my mind turned to the most famous piece for the same combination: the Quartet for the End of Time by Olivier Messiaen. That wonderful piece is a meditation on Eternity; however, being more interested in the present, I decided to write a quartet for the time being. The delicate quality of the moment and a sense of understated beauty are, I hope, captured by the sensuous and slightly melancholy feel of the music. Like Messiaen, I use musical patterns that are symmetrical and clearly ordered, and always strive for beautifully contoured melodic lines; unlike Messiaen, I create a sense of tension and resolution through use of rhythmic and pitch dissonances that are built up then resolved by the end of the piece.
The Time Being is dedicated to Lanex Brink.