Video produced for TIME:SPANS 2020,

Juliet Fraser, soprano

Quatuor Bozzini

Thanksong is based on the third movement of Beethoven’s late Quartet Op.132 (the ‘Heiliger Dankgesang’). Like Beethoven’s remarkable opening, Thanksong is quiet, inwardly focused and full of gratitude. To compose the piece, Miller sang along (automatic singing-in-meditation) to the four individual parts of the quartet, many times in repetition, transforming the material into gentle pendulum-like repeated gestures. The members of the Quatuor Bozzini and Juliet Fraser each perform independently, as if five soloists. The quartet members play the music by ear (with the aid of simplified notation), listening in headphones to Miller’s voice – and the composition is held together by the pacing and breath of Juliet Fraser, as she sings Beethoven’s line as slowly and quietly as possible.