Obsidian, White Tea & Ginger for Steel Pan Quartet
Instrumentation: Tenor 1, Tenor 2, Dbl 2nd, Cello Pan
Difficulty: 5 (Intermediate/Advanced)
Composer- Louis Raymond-Kolker
If I didn’t know any better, I’d describe so many things in my life as magic. Seeing sunlight reflecting off of the water at Crab Orchard Falls, hearing impossible sounds come out of steelpans, and watching a pair of candles that I brought from Nebraska (like orchids) burn at my desk all have rational – even scientific – explanations. But for all of the stock that we place in science, there’s a temptation to devalue that which we don’t fully understand, even if it’s something that we could otherwise intuit.
“Obsidian, White Tea & Ginger”, named for my candles, and magical reagents in themselves, is a transfiguration of a string quartet into a steelpan quartet. The music draws from the language of other string quartets, with circular contours, forms, and instruments. Instead of telling a straightforward narrative, the aim of this piece is to create an experience that one can understand by intuition. This work is a love letter to – if not an argument for – not knowing better.
“Obsidian, White Tea & Ginger” was commissioned by Dr. Diana Loomer for members of the Appalachian State University Steely Pan Steel Band.
Watch Obsidian, White Tea & Ginger: