string quartet and skyscraper

a composition by Bernd Klug featuring the Rhythm Method string quartet and his sound installation traces of [dis]location at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York

September 11, 2015
commissioned by New Music USA


For the world premiere of this composition, commissioned in 2015 by New Music USA, string quartet The Rhythm Method played in, on, and with Bernd Klug’s sound installation Traces of [Dis]location – the Austrian Cultural Forum as social instrument at the Austrian Cultural Forum NYC. Based on the unique architectural and acoustic properties of Raimund Abraham´s iconic “mini-skyscraper,” the piece further expanded on the installation’s relational processes by featuring snippets from the quartet’s recent repertoire and practice routines. As the four players wandered through the building, they urged audience members to construct their own sonic experience of the work, thus engaging on yet another level with the terms ‘cultural forum’ and ‘social instrument’.

Throughout the rehearsal and performance process, this piece was recorded by four different sound engineers, each working independently of one another and creating alternate histories of the same performance.  These recordings, along with additional visual and acoustic traces of the original ACFNY installation, will be used as a layer of the next, smaller-scale iteration of string quartet and skyscraper. Using each performance space as a filter, frame, and found acoustic object, Klug will continue to explore the personal and collective artistic experiences of this specific quartet (thus rendering audible the secret workings of the classical concert experience), while further examining the ongoing cultural and political relations between his country of birth (Austria) and his country of residence (America).

string quartet and skyscraper, with each successive iteration, suggests more and more that we are what we share with each other, giving us a chance to grasp and reflect upon possibilities for listening in a broader, transnational context.

Lavinia Pavlish: violin
Andie Springer: violin
Hannah Levinson: viola
Meaghan Burke: cello

Recorded by Gill Arno, Daniel Neumann (w/ Gus Callahan), Geoff Mullen, Jane McAteer and Bernd Klug.
Commissioned by New Music USA and the Austrian Federal Chancellery
Supported by Thomastik-Infeld Vienna, the ACFNY and the German Consulate NY

New Music USA project page:

The Rhythm Method:

traces of [dis]location:

audio file of a pre-re-mix of the performance:

video and interview with New Music USA in advance of the premiere:

video of a rehearsal:

(with Meaghan Burke, Andie Springer and Anne Lanzilotti)

collection of social media photos of the concert at the ACFNY:
Jeanne 1

(by Jeanne Liotta)




(by thehouseofdis, also #1)

IMG_0665 IMG_0671

(by Alfred Klug)

first page of the score:

string quartet and skyscraper 1

string quartet and skyscraper 2.0