Mvt I. ‘Dear Tunde…,’

—  Duration: 7′16′′

The Diasporic Quartets is a four-movement work for string quartet composed for this year’s LSO Jerwood Composer+ Scheme. The piece was to receive its premiere in March of 2020 at LSO St Luke’s but due to the coronavirus pandemic has been postponed until the spring of 2021. The concert also features commissioned works by Philip Herbert and Daniel Kidane, along with performances of quartet pieces by Dominique Le Gendre, and Tunde Jegede. 

My quartet is a series of portrait movements of four dynamic composers who featured in a 13-part documentary I made last year for the British Music Collection, commissioned by Sound and Music. The series entitled Identity and the Anxiety of Influence showcase the music, influences and divergent cultural perspectives of African-diasporic composers living and working in the UK. My quartet is directly informed by my interactions with these remarkable artists during filming and my subsequent familiarisation with their music. 

The first movement—’Dear Tunde…,’ composed in the autumn of 2019, is dedicated to the multi-instrumentalist Tunde Jegede. Tunde studied both cello and kora (West African harp-lute) from a very early age. His intricate and dynamic musical language is a genuine synthesis of West-African and Western classical traditions.

Des Oliver