Endurance Capture (2012) is a piece for laptop, soprano and string quartet. It explores extreme dynamic ranges, putting the listener in a position of captivity. The first movement is mostly solo laptop. The laptop score is written as an instrumental part, which is to be realized by the performing musician. The second movement, features the string quartet and explores very small dynamics, along with rhythmic motives from the first movement. The piece is inspired by the experience of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test — the feeling of being trapped in the machine, the visceral experience of listening to sound that surrounds the examined, the random rhythms and pulses generated by the machine, and the feeling of being captured by an illness which leads one to this test. The small dynamic in the second movement demonstrates how small dynamics can also be constricting, as the listener strains to hear the delicate gestures in the strings.
Featured here is the second movement of Endurance Capture, in a reading session by the Arditti String Quartet (April 13, 2012, Mills College).