1. program notes
2. technical details: commission, dedication, orchestration, technical requirements, duration, stage plot, publisher
3. performances

program notes

program notes

nadir (2014), for string quartet and electronic sounds, is the second string quartet by the Dutch composer Rozalie Hirs. It can be heard as an answer to her first string quartet Zenit (2010) or perhaps its complement or shadow. Nadir was written to receive its world premiere at TRANSIT (Festival van Vlaanderen, Leuven) and its Dutch premiere at November Music 2014, played in both cases by the Bozzini Quartet. It is a commissioned work for November Music, with support from the Performing Arts Fund, The Netherlands.

nadir (2014) explores binaural beatings and other subtle shifts of aural perspective, starting out with pulsating chords that resolve into a dance-like movement of (an albeit non-existent) celestial court. The titles of its five movements are astronomical terms referring to aspects of the shifting perception of heavenly bodies–orientation, eclipses–as well as cyclical processes: libration, nutation, azimuth, diurnal, syzygy. The Bozzini Quartet takes the listener through a journey of shades, the dark, invisible, hidden inner life of the heavens, as if through the midst of the universe.

With special thanks to Casper Schipper for assistance with the sound synthesis in SuperCollider and to Arne Bock for the sound projection in the hall.

programmatoelichting (English above)

nadir (2014) voor strijkkwartet en elektronische klanken is het tweede strijkkwartet door de Nederlandse componist Rozalie Hirs. Het kan gezien worden als een antwoord op haar eerste strijkkwartet Zenit (2010), maar is tegelijkertijd ook zijn tegenhanger. Nadir is speciaal geschreven voor de wereldpremière tijdens TRANSIT (Festival van Vlaanderen, Leuven) en de Nederlandse premiere tijdens November Music in uitvoering door Bozzini Quartet. Het betreft een opdrachtwerk van November Music met financiële ondersteuning van het Fonds Podiumkunsten.

nadir (2014) onderzoekt binaural beatings en andere subtiele verschuivingen van het luisterperspectief. Het stuk opent met pulserende akkoorden die uitmonden in een dans-achtig deel afkomstig van een denkbeeldig hemels hof. De titels van de delen verwijzen naar astronomische termen die betrekking hebben op de waarneming van hemelse lichamen, plaatsbepaling, verduistering, en het cyclische proces van dag en nacht: libration, nutation, azimuth, diurnal, syzygy. Het Bozzini Quartet neemt de luisteraar mee op zijn reis door bewegende schaduwen en tinten donker, door het onzichtbare, verborgen innerlijke leven van de sferen, als door het binnenste van het heelal.

Met speciale dank aan Casper Schipper voor zijn assistentie bij de klanksynthese in SuperCollider en aan Arne Bock voor de geluidsprojectie in de zaal.

technical details

nadir (2014) was commissioned by Bozzini Quartet and November Music, with financial support from the Netherlands Performing Arts Fund.
nadir (2014) is dedicated to those who went before us.

string quartet (violin 1, violin 2, viola, cello) and electronic sounds.

22′ ca.

stage & plot
The four performers sit on stage in front of the audience. There are four loudspeakers (L1, L2, L3, L4) that are to be placed around the audience. The loudspeakers are either at ear level or higher, depending on the properties of the hall. The instruments are slightly amplified and are mixed with the electronic sounds.

sound setup
The electronic sounds are programmed in QLAB to be triggered by a foot pedal. The QLAB patch (20GB) may be obtained through Rozalie Hirs’ publisher Deuss Music.

technical equipment
4 loudspeakers on stands
2 additional subwoofers to be placed next to the stage
mixing desk
sound card 4 channels
4 microphones or pickup mics
sound technician/ sound master during setup, dress rehearsal, and concert to ensure proper mixing

For future performances in halls with more limited technical possibilities, there is available a fixed soundtrack for stereo projection to be played over a CD-player with time code. This CD can also be used for rehearsal purposes.

Rozalie Hirs’s music scores are published by Deuss Music. Score and parts of nadir (2014) can be purchased through this link (click here).

141028 rozaliehirs bozzini quartet cenakel tilburg


24 April 2016, 10:30, Portrait concert: Rozalie Hirs, Theater Antigone, Festival van Vlaanderen, Kortrijk, Belgium – Bozzini Quartet

8 November 2014, 19:00, November Music, Muziekcentrum De Toonzaal, Den Bosch, The Netherlands – Bozzini Quartet

28 October 2014, 20:30, November Music/ De Link, Het Cenakel, Tilburg, The Netherlands – Bozzini Quartet – Netherlands premiere

25 October 2014, 16:00, Transit Festival van Vlaanderen, Leuven, Belgium – Bozzini Quartet – world premiere

Photograph top: Quatuor Bozzini, Rozalie Hirs, and Arne Bock, at the Dutch premiere of nadir by Rozalie Hirs on 8 November 2014 at November Music, Den Bosch, The Netherlands.
Photograph above: Bozzini Quartet performing nadir (2014) by Rozalie Hirs at Cenakel, Tilburg, The Netherlands, on 28 October 2014.