Instrumentation: string quintet (2 violins, viola, cello, double bass)
Commissioned by Kansas Music Teachers Association
Premiered by the string faculty of Wichita State University at the KMTA convention, Washburn University; Topeka, Kansas; November 6, 1986
II. Spirit Dance
Notes: The “center” of the title refers to the experience of living in the center of the North American continent for, in my case, the first time and, also, to the psychological center of the self. The piece is in two movements, the first of a haunting and lyrical character, the second fast and rhythmic. In addition to traditional string writing, the piece presents a number of extended string techniques such as col leg no and harmonic glissandos.
Comments: KMTA gave me an open commission. When Paul Ousley (double bass) heard about it, he said, “Write it for the Fairmont Quartet (WSU) plus me!”