'Etudes and Lullabies' is a collection of 12 independent pieces for string quartet: six etudes and six lullabies. For me, these two forms perfectly complement each other, representing two fundamental and opposing aspects of music: the ability to energize and to soothe. An etude projects struggle, intensity, energy, and triumph over difficulty. A lullaby represents the polar opposite: It projects calm, quiet, intimacy, and letting go. The etude embodies defiance, the lullaby surrender. The piano repertoire has many collections of short pieces: etudes, preludes, nocturnes, preludes and fugues, and so forth. The string quartet, strangely, does not. I wrote this collection with that in mind. Etudes and Lullabies can be performed separately or together in any combination.