Jessie Montgomery (b 1981) is one of today's most relevant and important interpreters of 21st-century American sound and experience. She has been involved with Community MusicWorks, a Providence, Rhode Island community outreach music education program, as well as the Sphinx Organization, a Detroit-based nonprofit that supports young African American and Latinx string players. Her music interweaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, poetry, and social consciousness, and has been performed by such ensembles as the New York Philharmonic, A Far Cry, San Francisco Orchestra, and the St. Louis Symphony.
Montgomery's ''Source Code'' for string quartet is a one movement work that uses the Black spiritual as its genesis. The composer took inspiration from Civil Rights era artists such as choreographer Alvin Ailey, poets Langston Hughes and Rita Dove, and Ella Fitzgerald to create a musical language by, in her own words, ''re-interpreting gestures, sentences, and musical syntax...into musical sentences and tone paintings.'' She uses glissandi and slides throughout the piece for melodic and colorful effect. Includes score and parts. Suitable for advanced players.