a mezza voce was inspired in part by research undertaken by psychologist Alan Wing and his group at the University of Birmingham into the nature of ensemble synchronisation, often using Haydn’s string quartets as test material. Taking that as a starting point, the piece adapts and rearranges the second movement of Haydn’s quartet Op. 76 No. 1, loosely following its form and shifting and slowing its music in time. Its harmony is similarly blurred, with the tuning subtly adjusted to match the harmonic series; ratios of pitches found throughout nature as well as within the sound of the strings themselves. The effect is Haydn as a softly focused and slowly shifting kaleidoscope, presented – to quote the score from one of the moments when the original themes are almost revealed – ‘as if through frosted glass’.