Liaisons was inspired by an art installation, Mountains of Encounter, by artist Haegue Yang. The installation itself was motivated by the story of an American journalist in Shanghai who met secretly with a Korean revolutionary several times in the 1930s. While Liaisons is written for a quartet, most of the music consists of duets, allowing each individual instrument to speak freely with each of the others and have meaningful dialogue, away from the public eye represented by the entire (and more impersonal) ensemble. The work was commissioned by Musiqa for performance in Yang’s installation during its time at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

Instrumentation: clarinet, horn, vibraphone, and cello

Duration: ca. 11 minutes

Year composed: 2015