Pythagorean Americana

Experimental traditions and alternative tunings from American composers

The Del Sol Quartet has delved deep into the American Experimental tradition, especially focusing on Ben Johnston’s groundbreaking compositions in “Just Intonation” – a way of tuning based on perfect ratios. Johnston’s work is both radically inventive and solidly rooted in the American vernacular. You won’t find these notes on a piano keyboard, but you may find yourself tapping your foot and humming along anyhow! We always enjoy seeing this music fascinate and energize audiences – from rural towns to the UC Berkeley Math Sciences Research Institute to The Library of Congress.

Ben Johnston – String Quartet no. 10 (“Oh Danny Boy”)
Ben Johnston – String Quartet no. 4 (“Amazing Grace”)
Ben Johnston – String Quartet no. 3  [paired with # 4 to form “Crossings”]

John Luther Adams – Wind in High Places
Ruth Crawford Seeger – String Quartet (1931)
Ruth Crawford Seeger – Folk Songs
Lou Harrison – Quartet Set
Ken Ueno – Peradam
Reza Vali – Gâtâr
Theresa Wong – new quartet


Ruth Crawford Seeger - Quartet (1931)

Ken Ueno: “Peradam”

Lou Harrison: Song of Palestine from Quartet Set.

Ben Johnston String Quartet # 10 : Brisk, Intent