Sawa Sawa (2017) - ca. 4'
two singers and electronics
Written for the Soundstreams Composer Workshop: May 19–28, 2017
Sawa Sawa (roughly meaning ‘together, together,’ in Arabic) features a pair of singers that are electronically processed live to emit highly ecstatic melismatic figures borrowed from the renowned Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum’s early period recordings. The phrases emanating from the speakers in the hall are often heard back in counterpoint with the live singing, evoking highly ornamented versions of the Western-trained sopranos’ voices.