for string quartet takes its inspiration from four north Georgia
rivers: the Toccoa, Etowah, Tallulah and Chattahoochee. Each
belongs to a distinct watershed, their respective waters ultimately
reaching the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean without ever merging
with those of the other three along the way.
I recently visited of each of these rivers at various points in their
courses: The Toccoa River at both where it exits the Blue Ridge
reservoir and at McCaysville where it enters Tennessee and changes
name; the Etowah River just behind the Indian mounds and other
crossings upstream of these, eastward toward its headwaters close to
Dahlonega; the Tallulah both at the famous Tallulah Gorge and upstream
toward Lake Burton; the Chattahoochee at the place where Sidney Lanier
wrote "Song of the Chattahoochee" just north of Helen as well as other
points up and downstream.
While not programmatic "pictures" of these rivers, impressions of each
serve as points of departure for the rivers' respective movement. Taken
together as markers representing North Georgia's watersheds,
they conceptually unify the entire 12-minute work.