String Quartet No. 2 (Three California Landscapes) was composed during the spring of 2008 for the Ying Quartet. The movement titles were appended after the composition of the work and are intended as reflections of the work rather than as indications of the inspiration behind it. The imagery in the titles evokes impressions from my childhood, as well as the varied topography of my home state of California. Kern River was the location of a school camping trip that included white-water kayaking and rafting. The music evokes the bustling of the river and the gliding between rapids. Joshua Tree is the well-known desert park that was similarly the site of a school camping trip. The music suggests the stillness and fantasy of the desert night. Newport Beach was the site of several summer vacations, the highlight of which (at least at a certain age) was the boardwalk (known as the “fun zone”), complete with carnival rides and video arcades. This work was made possible by a generous grant from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University.