Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard and Quatuor Bozzini – Colliding Bubbles: Surface Tension and Release (Important)

Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard is a composer based in Copenhagen. On his latest EP he joins forces with the premiere Canadian string quartet for new music, Quatuor Bozzini, to create a piece that deals with the perception of bubbles replicating the human experience. In addition to the harmonics played by the strings, the players are required to play harmonicas at the same time. At first blush, this might sound like a gimmick, but the conception of the piece as instability and friction emerging from continuous sound, like bubbles colliding in space and, concurrently, the often tense unpredictability of the human experience, makes these choices instead seem organic and well-considered. As the piece unfolds, the register of the pitch material makes a slow decline from the stratosphere to the ground floor with a simultaneous long decrescendo.  The quartet are masterful musicians, unfazed by the challenge of playing long bowings and long-breathed harmonica chords simultaneously. The resulting sound world is shimmering, liquescent, and surprising in its occasional metaphoric bubbles popping.

  • Christian Carey