String Quartet No. 1 was the first work I had completed upon my arrival to the United States in 1995.  It has for its main musical material a Serbian XIX century tune (Gde si duso gde si ‘rano, gde si nocas bio.).

From the very opening of the piece, after being stated in a stylized form by the first violin, the tune takes on different characters.  From angular to fragmented, to lyrical, to melancholic, to violent, flippant, inviting, desperate – the tune serves as a vehicle for formal and character change of the entire piece. 

The tune influences its musical surrounding as much as it is influenced by it.  At the very end, after much fragmentation and de(con)struction, the tune is finally restated in its entirety, as a strong, redefined, new self.

The piece was premiered by the Sausalito Quartet in San Francisco, in December 1995.

String Quartet No. 1