Morning’s Coffee

‘Morning’s Coffee’ is a piece composed for the Quatuor Bozzini string quartet. This piece is based on a small story that I wrote about a student going on their daily journey to get a coffee from their favourite shop. For this project I also created a pre-recorded text part.

Text Part – Story

Once upon a time on a cold winter morning, the city was slowly starting to come to life. Birds were singing in the trees as the frost started to melt. Kettles being clicked on with the smell of fresh coffee filling each kitchen.
People wrapped up in coats, scarves and hats for the walking commute to work.

On a small street in the suburbs of this cold city a front door opens as a sleepy student starts their day. Walking through street after street and past shop after shop with only one destination in mind.

With frozen fingertips and rosy cheeks, they stumble into their happy place. The small and cosy cafe which helps to start every day off in the right way. Going up to the counter and smiling with their eyes, sleepily asking for a small black coffee.

Starting to warm up as they wait to collect their coffee from the counter. Orders being called as each customer waits at a distance for their drink of choice to be ready. ‘Small Black Coffee!’ the barista calls across the shop as the student walks towards the counter.

‘Thank you’ the student calls back, coffee in hand, walking towards the streets again. Clutched with both hands the coffee starts to warm the student’s blue fingertips. Glasses fogging up as the first sip is taken and the journey continues.
This morning’s coffee warms the chilled student sending them off into their day.


During the early stages of creating this piece I decided to produce the score by hand painting the paper with the design I wanted for the graphic elements of the notation. However, this became quite difficult as I wasn’t able to make the graphics look they way that I had envisioned it to look when using watercolour paints and paper. After this I decided to create the score using a digital software on my iPad called Procreate.

The tape part for this piece was performed and recorded by Louis Large who studied at the Birmingham School of Acting. Working across disciplinary is something I find really interesting as you can get a much broader view on the piece.

As part of the recording processes for this project Quatuor Bozzini created a zoom call and a live stream for us to watch and have input into their rehearsals for the two days prior to the recording session. It is always really interesting to be able to be part of the rehearsal process. The quartet also gave each of the composers some feedback on their pieces, offering advice on how the notation or instructions could be executed more clearly.

Workshop on Zoom with Quatuor Bozzini and the other composers.
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