Watch the amazing Afiara Quartet premiere Four Elements at the Drake Underground , May 2014:
In the ancient world, the four classical elements of air, water, fire and earth were believed to reflect the simplest essential parts and principles of which anything can consist. While modern science has since discovered a vast amount of evidence-based knowledge that makes the old beliefs in the four elements seem antiquated and simplistic, they nonetheless have a modern resonance. In the age of climate change, nothing is as apparent as the effects of weather upon the earth – water from rising seas and melting ice caps, wind from hurricanes, and fire from drought. Four Elements is inspired by Earth, and the elements that shape it.
In Harmonices Mundi (The Harmony of the World) written in 1619 by astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler designates distinct musical motifs for the eight planets then known. Kepler’s own Terra motif, a simple three-note shape that rises and then falls a semitone, forms the fundamental musical material of this composition. The work has 5 sections: Song for Fire, Song for Air, Song for Water, Song for Earth, and Song for the Earth on Fire.
FOUR ELEMENTS was commissioned by Chamber Factory, and is dedicated to the Afiara String Quartet.