Crosstalk for Improvising Electric Guitarist and String Quartet

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


Crosstalk is based conceptually on the idea of the guitarist as ‘outsider’ who eavesdrops on the conversations of the string quartet, often entering the conversation uneasily in the form of dialogue with one of the other instruments which then builds into more engaged interaction with other quartet members, sometimes heated and sometimes calm. The piece is structured as follows: after a brief introduction there are four contrasting sections, each opening with a short duo, followed by a solo guitar cadenza and ending with a coda. Each section investigates properties of a particular set of interval classes; some sections are strictly metered and others unmetered and improvisatory. The piece was written using technical approaches which explore the qualities of this particular group of musicians: in Simon Jermyn’s case to give free reign to his creativity and in particular his ability to improvise using interval class sets rather than the scale/chord relationships normally adopted by jazz guitarists; in the case of the Smith Quartet to highlight their incredible virtuosity, rhythmic vitality and sensitivity.
Original languageEnglish
TypeOriginal Composition
PublisherContemporary Music Centre
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 17 Apr 2010


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