“A mystery: trying to find a balance between the illusion that events repeat themselves, and the reality that nothing ever returns unaltered.”
That is Keeril Makan’s program note to his new string quartet “Return,” which the Pacifica String Quartet will premiere on Wednesday. (The piece is a co-commission by the Celebrity Series of Boston and the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival.) The note sounds like a philosophical conundrum, perhaps a follow-up to Heraclitus’s dictum that nothing endures except change. But in fact, it has a deeper connection to Makan’s experience, one that the piece tries to embody.