String Quartet in a Historic Artistic Church

‘Beneath the Quiet Heaven of your Eyes’ (2024) is an hour long string quartet with low frequency drones to be performed in near darkness at the historic St. Nicholas Croatian Church in Millvale, PA. Each member of the quartet plays along with a guide track video that projects colors of light (derived from the murals of Maxo Vanka) to illuminate the performer’s area and provide a reference pitch for their specific notes. The video serves both as theatrical element and score in lieu of a traditionally notated score.

The piece is conceived specifically for a multi-level scaffolding setup, with one performer on each level. The Society to Save Maxo Vanka, whose mission in part is to help bring a new, younger audience to the murals and energize his art in the region and beyond, has already presented concerts in the space. This would be the first work created specifically for the murals (and tied directly to the unique performance opportunities afforded by the restoration scaffolding).

The work is dedicated to legendary Pittsburgh composer and educator, Mathew Rosenblum, who has been hugely influential to both the composer and performers, as a small token of thanks in the year of his retirement from the University of Pittsburgh.

Funded by Pittsburgh, PA (March 2024)