Nashwa (2018) for saxophone quartet (SATB) - ca. 8'
2018 Donald Sinta Quartet Composition Contest, 1st Prize Winner
Premiered July 3, 2018: Donald Sinta Quartet – Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor, MI
This saxophone quartet is one movement of a soon-to-be-composed longer work that traverses many areas of traditional Middle Eastern music as they relate to pitch, ornamentation, meter, and timbre, and seeks to amalgamate those characteristics with traits typically found in Western classical music, like development, modulation, and harmony. This movement, Nashwa, or ‘trance’ in Arabic, is a fantasy on the maqamat, or Arab modes, through an aural meditation that begins with swells inspired by the resonance heard inside the oud, an Arab lute. As the movement continues, the sound profile makes its way out of the oud and into the external sounds of the qanun, an Arab zither comprised of over seventy strings and played with long plectrums. Its surface level sounds are abstractly depicted through sforzando and tremolo/flutter tonguing techniques from the quartet. The last section brings the ensemble back into the oud, eventually ending with one final swell.
Donald Sinta Quartet premiering Nashwa at Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor, MI