Blueprint, composed for the incredible Aizuri Quartet, takes its title from this beautiful blue woodblock printing tradition as well as from that familiar standard architectural representation of a proposed structure: the blueprint. This piece began its life as a harmonic reduction — a kind of floor plan — of Beethoven’s string quartet Op. 18 No. 6. As a violinist and violist, I have played this piece many times, in performance and in joyous late-night reading sessions with musician friends. (One such memorable session included Aizuri’s marvelous cellist, Karen Ouzounian.) Chamber music is ultimately about conversation without words. We talk to each other with our dynamics and articulations, and we try to give voice to the composers whose music has inspired us to gather in the same room and play music. Blueprint is also a conversation — with Beethoven, with Haydn (his teacher and the “father” of the string quartet), and with the joys and malinconia of his Op. 18 No. 6.
(program note by Caroline Shaw, March 2016)
Blueprint was commissioned by the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts for the Aizuri Quartet
About Caroline Shaw
Caroline Adelaide Shaw is a New York-based musician—vocalist, violinist, composer, and producer—who performs in solo and collaborative projects. She is the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, for…