In his third string quartet (“In iij Noct.“), Georg Friedrich Haas continues his experiments with the possibilities of music performed in the dark, as established in Adolf Wölfli and in vain. Darkness, however, is not present in this piece merely as an absence of light, but becomes the key theme of the work: the whole piece is played in complete darkness, the musicians can see neither their music nor their fellow performers, and are seated as far apart from one another as possible – for example they might be seated around the audience in the four corners of the auditorium.
Towards the end of the 3rd String Quartet a quotation from Gesualdo can be heard, from which the work also takes its title (from the Responses: Feria V, Resp. VII).
The 3rd String Quartet is composed as a verbal score, with many details and decisions left to the performers. They communicate solely through the sounds produced by their instruments, inviting one another into musical processes, accepting these invitations or responding in kind with an invitation of their own – and always deciding for themselves how far they choose to go down each path together, before turning back.
The duration of the piece is only decided during the performance: the minimum length is 35 minutes, but the piece can also last considerably longer.