Counterstream Radio
New Music Streaming 24/7
New Music Playlists
Browse Music, Video, Interviews and more.

Intricate Machines: Rising American Composers team up with Aizuri Quartet

Showcasing the diversity and creativity of America’s new-music community through one of the oldest genres: the string quartet.

The Latest Update


Posted on January 18, 2019 by Daniel Temkin

The INTRICATE MACHINES project is heading your way soon! 

We have exciting updates about venues, including a new special event on 4/5/19  at Scholes Street Studios in Brooklyn.  Please check out our poster for COMPLETE TOUR INFORMATION.  And, if you like the design, you can see more work of the wonderful Catherine Baker at her own page.

Can’t wait to see everyone at these shows!

Dan, Phil, Nina, Katie, Sky, and the Aizuris


Intricate Machines is an exciting collaboration between the acclaimed Aizuri Quartet and rising American composers Katherine BalchSky Macklay, Phil TaylorDaniel Temkin, and Nina C. Young.

Co-curated by Taylor and Temkin, this project of discovery and exploration sees the Aizuri Quartet tour five recent works through America’s Rust Belt along the I-80 corridor.  Concerts are planned in Pittsburgh (Frick Fine Arts Center), Lewisburg (Weis Center for the Performing Arts), Philadelphia (Ethical Society), and New York (Greenwich Music House), with the composers on hand to lead panel-style Q&A sessions after each performance.  In addition, the composers and the quartet will present guest lectures and outreach events at universities and community music schools in each venue city.

The works chosen for this project were carefully selected for their unique and original beauty, as well as their ability to illuminate one another in musical symbiosis: the searching in Taylor’s of embers and aspen leaves gives way to the warmth of Balch’s With Each Breathing (a whimsical response to e.e. cummings); witty musical syntax games in Macklay’s Many Many Cadences, contrast with the mystery and darkness of Young’s Memento Mori – Phase I (a meditation on the certainty of death); and the interconnected movements of Temkin’s Intricate Machines make nod to the brilliant, sophisticated mechanism that is the string quartet.  Together, these works poignantly touch upon many facets of human experience and show the vitality and diversity of contemporary American music today.

Known for “captivating performances…that meld intellect, technique, and emotions” (Washington Post), the Aizuri Quartet has built its reputation on championing contemporary works alongside masterworks of the past, and their fierce commitment to new works makes them ideal for this project.  Currently leading a five-concert curatorial residency at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the group has previously commissioned numerous significant works by Lembit Beecher, Caroline Shaw, Jennifer Higdon, and many others.  In December 2017, the New York Times wrote that the quartet’s”imaginative programming…places it in the new guard” of major groups, and ‘Intricate Machines’ is one initiative through which the Aizuris are significantly reinvigorating the string quartet genre.

We are especially excited to bring our roster of collaborators to different venues and cities throughout the mid-Atlantic region, where most audience members will gain exposure to these artists for the first time.  In addition, our project will further cement the selected pieces as major recent contributions to the string quartet canon.  Finally, both the composers and the quartet will strengthen our relationships with new-music communities in each city, especially as we work with presenters Alia Musica (Pittsburgh) and the Weis Center (Lewisburg) to grow their core audiences for new music with our project.


Phil Taylor: of embers and aspen leaves (2017)

Katherine Balch: With Each Breathing (2015)

Sky Macklay: Many Many Cadences (2014)

Nina C. Young: Memento Mori – Phase I (2013)

Daniel Temkin: Intricate Machines (2016)


Frick Fine Arts Center (Pittsburgh, PA)

Weis Center (Lewisburg, PA)

Ethical Society (Philadelphia, PA)

Greenwich House (New York, NY)

Project Media

Many, Many Cadences (2014)
Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.
Features: Sky Macklay

Described by the I Care If you Listen music blog as a “madcap piece at once exhilarating and hilarious in its energetic inventiveness,” Sky Macklay’s ‘Many, Many Cadences’ was featured at 2017 Gaudeamus Music Week. Listen to it here in a performance by the Spektral Quartet from their CD “Serious Business” [DSL-92198 | Sono Luminus].

“III. Churning Gears” from Intricate Machines (2016)
Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.
Features: Daniel Temkin

Following its premiere at the Saarbrucker Somermusik Festival in 2016, critic Stefan Urmacher described Daniel Temkin’s ‘Intricate Machines’ as “a journey…from the intoxicating, Bartok-inspired, ‘I. Heavy-Metal Viola’ to later meditative simplicity of ‘IV. Constellations.’” Thornton EDGE delivers a crisp live performance of the third movement, ‘Churning Gears,’ in Newman Hall, Los Angeles, CA.

Carrot Revolution

I'm sorry, this media seems to be unavailable.

Features: Aizuri Quartet

“Carrot Revolution” by Gabriella Smith is a stellar example of Aizuri Quartet’s commitment to new music, and its mission to reinvigorate the string quartet genre with exciting new repertoire. Of the premiere performance, featured on this recording, the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that the performance “dazzled” and that the “high-voltage and wildly imaginative [writing]…reinvents the sound of a string quartet.”

Live performance at the Crescendo Club in Philadelphia, PA, October 2015.

Start and End Dates



Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

1 update
Last update on January 18, 2019

Project Created By

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Daniel Temkin (b. 1986) began composing at age thirteen. One of his earliest pieces was premiered in Lincoln Center and he has been a Composer-in-Residence with Music From Angel Fire (New Mexico), Chamber Music by the Bay (San Francisco), and the Intimacy of Creativity Festival (Hong Kong). Daniel’s work has been supported by many leading…

In Collaboration With

New York, New York
New York, New York
Co-Curator and Composer
Boulder, Colorado
New York, New York
New York City, New York


Leave a Reply