The concert began before there were even any players onstage with Brendan Woithe’s chirping, buzzing soundscape Prelude, intended as a warmup for the ASQ’s newly commissioned work by Kate Moore, the String Quartet No 3, Cicadidae

The Australian String Quartet

Moore’s music is inspired by nature and its links to sound. As her website says, “her works are directly inspired by the organic shapes and sounds found in nature and lost objects of the natural biosphere, both sonic and visual”. This inspiration was definitely in evidence in her third string quartet Cicadidae, which is, of course, referring to the scientific classification for the cicada family. Moore spoke to Limelightrecently, and describes the piece by saying “as a result of human-induced climate change many insect species are facing trouble – and possible extinction – and this is very worrying. I imagine cicadas’ evening song…to be a chorus singing praise for being alive. It’s almost hymnal”. She also talks about the effects of slowing down cicada song, and how this inspired the piece’s “beautiful, very simple, gradually changing harmony.” This is a lovely piece, with Glass-ian repetitions criss-crossing the...