California Crest

by Max Stroffregen

for string quartet

In 2014, Friction string quartet teamed up with composer Max Stoffregen to create California Crest, a four ­part suite inspired by Max's hike of the California section of the Pacific Crest Trail. The goal of this collaboration was to experience the fabled diversity of the California PCT in one continuous hike, and to create music inspired by the landscape itself. Each movement traces a different distinct area of the PCT. The mountains of California felt distinguishable to Max in four large areas: the Transverse ranges of the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains; the Southern Sierra; Central California; and the cascade volcanoes of Northern California. Each region was individually beautiful, compelling, and distinct. Reflecting this perception of the landscape, Max set the The California Crest in four movements; "Sky Islands", "Mojave", "The Rebirth of Owens Lake", and "Cinder Cone". Each movement aims to depict a sense of place from each region, and the sequence of the movements parallel the direction of the hike: north- bound. For each movement there is a specific place in mind as well. San Jacinto Peak, Kelso Canyon, Owens Lake, and the Cinder Cone near Lassen Peak were the four places held in the composer’s mind as dramatic examples of the diverse California landscape. It is a reflective exploration of the California's dramatic landscape.


04/24/15 @ Old First Concerts- premiere