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"Pray" for String Quartet

Programme Note:

What does it mean to be an American musician or composer? Can any among us craft music to represent all of America: from the sprawling Great Plains to the Louisiana Marshes, from the New York City Streets to the Pacific’s river basins? If so, how? How can we conjoin so many disparate cultures and identities into one music while deeply respecting the diversity of every individual?


Historians remain unsure as to the origins of the folk song, Down to the River. Did it originate among African American slaves as a spiritual, Appalachian tradesmen as a traveling tune, Shaker worshippers as a service hymn, or somewhere else entirely? Regardless, this prayer has provided a solace to each of these Americans during their times of need for hundreds of years.


The River has given me great peace as well.

Perhaps this is the music of America—a prayer for the future, for solace, for asylum, for home.

Performance History:

inštitut .abeceda

Date: 23 June 2022

  • Location: Bled, Slovenia

  • Performers: Violinists Martin Krpan and Matija Udovič, Violist Domen Kužnar, Cellist Urban Megušar

  • .abeceda [new music ensemble]

  • .abeceda New Music Festival

  • (festival sodobne glasbe .abeceda)

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