Commissioned by NASA for the Kronos Quartet and featuring pre-recorded sounds from the plasma around planets, Terry Riley’s Sun Rings is about as close an experience to being in space as it is possible to be. The ten-movement ‘spacescape’, as Riley refers to it, is a multimedia work for quartet and chorus, opening with recorded audio of the static heard from radio emissions in space. These are all triggered by members of the quartet’s hand movements over sensors.
For more than 40 years, San Francisco's Kronos Quartet-David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello)-has combined a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagining the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the world's most celebrated and influential ensembles, performing thousands of concerts, releasing more than 50 recordings, collaborating with many of the world's most eclectic composers and performers, and commissioning over 850 works and arrangements for string quartet.