Quarks are subatomic particles that are thought to be the building blocks of all matter. They actually come together to form protons and neutrons. I have a passing fascination with these mysterious particles and how they all come together. It almost seems as though there exists some kind of "microverse" that physicists describe in smaller detail every few years.
Dances with Quarks celebrates these tiny particles that are, in essence, everything. This piece is both whimsical and introspective. The work is divided into three sections predominantly; the main 'dance' theme, a middle section that is markedly smoother and more melodic, and the return of the dance theme in an augmented fashion. The meter is free and constantly evolving, reminiscent of the chaos of the microverse, but at the same time evocative of the seeming order from that randomness. There is also a persistent dialogue between the bassoon and strings that illustrates the myriad of "colors" in the universe as well as in music.