My second string quartet, New Moon Music, was composed especially for the Essex Quartet as a companion piece to my first string quartet, Quartetto spettrale, which is a primarily dark and macabre piece. New Moon Music is intended to evoke the entire lunar cycle by its form which waxes in mood and texture up to the golden section and then wanes until it disappears. Astrologically the new moon symbolizes growth, renewal and enthusiastic rebirth, and certain parts of the piece attempt to capture the urgency of the new growth around the vernal equinox.
Selected performances of New Moon Music
Premiere: July 24, 25, 26 and 27, 1994, by the Essex Quartet, At the Arcady Music Festival at four locations in Maine: Belfast, Bar Harbour, Bangor and Dover Foxcroft; all four performances broadcast on Maine Public Radio
Review of New Moon Music
The Ellsworth American, Ellsworth, ME, Win Pusey
“The opening work, a world premiere of New Moon Music, by John Carbon, written for this [Arcady Music] festival, began with Yuhsik Andrew Kim’s haunting cello solo. Kim counts Yo-Yo Ma as one of his coaches and there were moments of uncanny resemblance.
Carbon’s music projected dissonant piquancy without losing a certain semblance of tonal structure and each player made the most of it. Violist Amy Dulsy-Little brought dynamic warmth as the intensity increased and the violins, Claire Chan and Zoran Jakovcic, added symmetrical brilliance. The music itself dissolved into joyous cacophony before a powerful unison theme again brought focus.
Although no movements were indicated there was a clear separation into two parts, the second being a marvelous first violin solo accompanied by the other three voices. Jakovcic displayed the charisma of a pied piper in the bird-song like cadenza, sublimating his first-class technical skill to creativity. When he finally descended into a g-string rhapsody at the end, it sent shivers into the room.”