Quiet Harbor


for flute, clarinet, violin, and cello (2015)

Composer: Nick Norton
by Nick Norton Report Abuse

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Product Description



5 minutes


Flute, Bb clarinet, violin, cello

Program Notes

While visiting my family’s home in the summer of 2014 I found a copy of the Oxford Book of Sea Songs.

I’d been listening to a good bit of Charles Ives recently so decided to pick a few of the songs to set against one another, essentially to see how they would sound. The songs I selected were John Dory, A Joyful New Ballad, and The Seamen and Soldiers’ Last Farewell to Their Dear Jewels. After a few bars (and a few tonal adjustments) I knew I was on to something.

During that summer I also visited Emerald Bay, on Catalina Island, where I spent every summer growing up. It was the first time I’d been back in three or four years.

Hanging out on the dock or on a moored boat late at night at the end of summer, whether with friends or alone, is one of my favorite places to be. It’s hard to put it into words, but it gives me a combined feeling of cool peacefulness and the warmth of being home. It’s also one of the rare places that I’m able to get out of my own head and just exist and be present in the moment.

I remembered how this felt by getting back there and experiencing it again, and tried to capture it in the colors of this piece.

Nick Norton

Nick Norton is – like you – made from materials forged in the cores of stars. The composer/guitarist/concert-producer was born in Los Angeles approximately 13.6 billion years after the universe and has been making music ever since. He is deeply interested in the colorful grey areas between genres, creating new experiences for listeners, and destroying social barriers to enjoying music. In pursuit of this he founded and runs Equal Sound and New Classic LA, and has collaborated with HOCKET, gnarwhallaby, Ensemble Mise En, the Argus, Friction, and Formalist quartets, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Wild Rumpus, Synchromy, What’s Next? Ensemble, Ignition Duo, and numerous soloists. He plays guitar, bass, and electronics in The Newports, Honest Iago, and Better Looking People With Superior Ideas. The LA Times describes his music as crazy, NewMusicBox referred to his pieces as “visceral sonic haiku,” and Fool In The Forest said they were “fit to melt steel.” Nick really enjoys craft beer, sci fi, and being near or in the ocean, and holds degrees from UC San Diego and King’s College London. He is currently pursuing his PhD in composition from UC Santa Barbara, where he also teaches.

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