The basic structure of Stringquartett (Stråkkvartett; String Quartet) is derived from the number 4. Four players, four types of playing techniques, four layers of velocity, four temperaments, etc. As one of the instrumental combinations that has proven to be a real ‘survivor’ through music history, the string quartet has fascinated me since a long time. Overwhelmed by the number of compositions created for some 300 years I realized that there was little or nothing I could do to create anything even remotely resembeling true ‘originality’ in the sense of bringing new ideas to the form. However, moving the whole concept to another platform gave me the inspiration needed to unfold some visions of how to treat the formal and aural aspects of this specific string combination. Today Stringquartett, as a tape composition, may be regarded as a bit ‘crude,’ based as it is on a sampling technology which at the time was state of the art, but today may be wiewed as ‘antique.’ The structure and energy of the piece still gives it an edge that I like and the conceptual side of transforming the purety of one form into an equal counterpart, renders the piece a quality that last beyond the facts of its ‘instrumental’ shortcomings. The late Swedish poet/author Erik Bäckman allowed me to appear in one of his books as “the composer who kept a string quartet in his pocket.”
Stringquartett was realized in 1988 at the composer’s studio and premiered on June 4, 1989 at the Skinnskatteberg Festival. It was commissioned by Sveriges Radio — the Swedish radio. Stringquartett received an Honorable Mention at the Prix Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria, 1990).