First of all, there is nothing I or anyone can say to you that will change your opinion if you do not find anything of merit in the work. But I will tell you why it got and held my attention. Is it impressive? That's your word, and a relative term that I don't often use for any music. One either hears a work and responds positively or not.Being as specific as you can be, what is impressive about the Balch piece?
I was intrigued by the texture of the first part that gradually takes on more and more activity. It starts out mainly made of quiet noises and then becomes more pitch oriented and busier. This section finally matures into a more expressive section that I found captivating and beautiful, actually. The dominant seventh chords near the end are effective in contrast to the previously indistinct harmonies.
Clearly there is a beginning, middle and end, a journey she takes the listener on.
Here's the program note from the composer:
"drip music begins very quietly. From delicate, nearly inaudible drizzles of sound, splashes (heavy droplets) take over and begin to dance. This piece is about drawing attention to and then amplifying very tiny sounds, and is a celebratory exploration of the intimacies and intricacies of the string quartet. drip music was commissioned for the Argus Quartet by Concert Artists Guild, with generous support from the Adele and John Gray Endowment Fund."
But if you don't hear it ...
The Katherine Balch work and this one by Alexandra du Bois - String Quartet: Oculus pro oculo totum orbem terrae caecat - are, I think are representative works of the generation in their 30s.
Both are string quartets, clearly these two composers are interested in working in that long-standing tradition.