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Written for one of the New Zealand String Quartet's immensely valuable composer workshops at Victoria University's School of Music, distal was my first attempt at the use of aleatoric elements in composition. The violist moves to the front of the performance space, ringed by the other quartet members and plays a traditionally-scored virtuosic solo from start to finish, while the trio members play overlapping, looping fragments, where individual choices can be made with regard to register, dynamic and speed of execution according to closely defined parameters. At various moments the soloist and trio converge, providing fleeting glimpses of rhythmic coherence, before withdrawing back to strange and unpredictable realms.