This is the sound of God's laughter,

like nothing on earth, it fills

earth from grave to mountain-top,

lingers there a while, then like a great

bird spreading its wings for home or somewhere

like home,

           heads out into silence,

gentle and endless, longing to understand.

                                          - Brenden Kennelly

The inspiration for this work lies in the beautiful and provoking imagery of the poem God’s Laughter by Irish poet Brenden Kennelly.

The one movement string quartet by Sydney-based composer Paul Witney is a study in tone colour, exploring the subtle variations across instruments, registers, and even within a single note. An intricately detailed miniature, the work absorbs the listener into an ever shifting world of sound.

The piece begins with a soft cluster of notes. As the sound world expands, an endless array of patterns emerges from the kaleidoscope of colour. The instruments drift further and further apart, eventually lifting out into silence.