The harmonic and melodic idea of the Serenade for Four Strings is mainly derived from the natural harmonics of the open strings. To achieve diverse pitches on the open strings, the second violin and the viola use scordatura. Violin II is simply tuned down a half-step. The viola on the other hand employs a more complicated tuning: B, F, D# and A#.
The piece consists of five short suite-like movements, all together forming a kind of Rondo form. The odd numbered movements are fast in tempo and light and fluid in spirit. The even numbered movements are slower and contemplative.
The original intention was to limit the harmonic and melodic materials but to add a rich and imaginative timbre – achieved entirely through a harmonic sound world. I intended to leave this timbral aspect free in order to achieve a sound world, which – to a high degree – would be unpredictable and surprising.