Unbound marks the debut of the Jasper String Quartet at the Native DSD Music store. The album features 21st century compositions from Caroline Shaw, Missy Mazzoli, Annie Gosfield, Judd Greenstein, David Lang, Donnacha Dennehy, and Ted Hearne. It is said to "explore the furthest reaches of the string quartet repertoire with new works by 7 of today's most dynamic composers".
Maggie Molloy from Second Inversion says "The album unfolds as a survey of today’s spectacularly diverse and dynamic string music landscape, each piece stretching the string quartet tradition in new and inventive ways. The album begins with Caroline Shaw’s tangy and succulent “Valencia.” The Jaspers bring precision and playfulness to Shaw’s billowing harmonics and bold bow strokes, evoking the brilliant colors and juicy texture of the fresh, flavorful fruit."
“sonically delightful and expressively compelling” —The Strad “powerful” —New York Times “The Jaspers... match their sounds perfectly, as if each swelling chord were coming out of a single, impossibly well-tuned organ, instead of four distinct instruments.” —New Haven Advocate
"As the members of a string quartet, we are incredibly lucky. The four of us have spent the past decade playing together, learning to breathe and move as one. We’re honored to play in the most intimate settings and the top concert halls. Most importantly, the music we play is the best that there is. Seeking out new pieces to contribute to this conversation is as important, if not more so, as rediscovering the sublime human experience of a Beethoven quartet.
The seven pieces on this album represent a collection of treasures we’ve discovered from this century. One of these pieces, Annie Gosfield’s “The Blue Horse Walks on the Horizon” was written expressly for our quartet. The rest we unearthed as we sifted through the vibrant and varied landscape of music being created today.
We sought to find a set of pieces that were both enchanting on their own and together represent a cohesive aesthetic. From the immense technical challenges of Judd Greenstein’s “Four on the Floor”, the meditative contemplation of David Lang’s “almost all the time”, to the raw emotion and vivid imagery of Missy Mazzoli’s “Death Valley Junction”, these pieces represent an incredible diversity of sound and style. Yet they all reside comfortably in this wonderful tradition of string quartets, of which we are lucky enough to be a part."
—Jasper String Quartet