It’s almost ten years since your last string quartet, what made you decide to embrace the genre again?

As is the case with being a freelance composer, it’s a matter of forward planning and timing. When there’s a brilliant group of world class musicians knocking at the door with the offer of a commission, then providing sufficient time can be allocated to the task, one must embrace the challenge.

Nigel Westlake

The quartet is a homage to your sister Kate. How have you sought to convey her spirit in the music of Sacred Sky?

Sacred Skyis a shrine in music to Kate’s memory and a contemplation on her beauty, energy, soulfulness and transcendence of spirit. Inevitably the fingerprints of grief and sadness permeate the musical narrative at times, but there is also an overarching sense of joy and optimism. I tried to write a piece that Kate would have loved to hear and I am very grateful to Dale, Sharon, Francesca and Stephen for so willingly agreeing to be a part of this journey.

What were the biggest challenges writing this quartet?

Having made a promise to Kate in her final days that I would write her this...