phrēn (Classical Greek), n.: the heart or mind as the seat of thought
Psychic terms designate entities that comprise aspects both ‘physical’ and ‘psychological’. We moderns separate categories such as ‘concrete’ and ‘abstract’, ‘physical’ and ‘psychological’, whereas the early Greeks do not. . . .
Within the person, phrēn serves as a location of several psychological functions. Prominent among these are the operations of thinking, pondering, deliberating, and weighing of possibilities. . . . A person acts in or uses phrénes in difficult situations.
Catherine Lamb string quartet (two blooms) (2009)
This came out of a period of form writing where I was interested in the building blocks of proportional (pitch-spaced) relationships, where each structure fit directly into the next, expanding out from a central point. I was inspired by crystalline growth patterns and the perceptions around those shapes, and from a glissandi-directed piece I had just finished for any four bowed string instrumentalists entitled grow (out). Keeping the same macro shape of opening as two slow, displaced blooms, I became focused on the details of each micro-growth within and tried it as a classical string quartet arrangement. I was much more satisfied with the result; the structures began to take on a clearer vibrancy and movement (out). I wanted to see how far the micro- and macro-structure could remain of the same substance, only displaced in dimensionality through our own cognition of what is large or what is small. . . .