Manarah (2015) for orchestra and electronics - ca. 8'
Commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra with support from the Jerome Fund for New Music
"A fanfare opens, seemingly tonal, but soon the harmonies are altered by microtones and glissandos, creating a much more complex landscape, all being subtly altered electronically in real time by the composer, who sat onstage at a laptop computer...Haddad’s intriguing textures made the night’s most arresting listening."
– New York Classical Review
Manarah ("beacon" in Arabic) is scored for two digitally processed antiphonal trumpets and orchestra, lasting approximately 8 minutes. The work features the orchestra’s two trumpet players in the left and and right balconies, calling back and forth to one another and the rest of the ensemble. They serve as pillars nestled high above the ground, inviting the orchestra to join them, like lighthouses beckoning ships safely to their shores. Both trumpet players are processed live through a software patch I created through MAX, which is triggered live onstage through a laptop. With this program, I explore microtonal intervallic relationships, glissandi, and unconventional changes in vibrato that are heard extensively in the traditional performance practice of Arabic musicians, most notably the Egyptian singer, Oum Kalthoum. With this work, I hope to showcase the rich musical culture of my Middle-Eastern heritage through the lens of my upbringing here in the United States.
Special thanks to Mari Kimura, Aaron Plourde and Nathan Prillaman for their assistance on the electronics involved with this work.
Premiered April 1, 2016: American Composers Orchestra conducted by George Manahan at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY
Additional Performances by Columbus Symphony, Princeton Symphony