Shifting Sands (2014) for piano and electronics - ca. 8'
Dzovig Markarian, piano; Saad Haddad, audio engineer
2015 ASCAP Morton Gould Winner
Premiered October 24, 2014: Dzovig Markarian (piano) and Liviu Marinescu (computer) at Meng Hall in Fullerton, CA
Shifting Sands constantly wavers unpredictably between the distinctive strands of Western and Arabic music, seeking to fuse the evocative, other-worldly sound of the "maqam" (scale in Arabic) within a Western scheme and tonality. The structure of the work is influenced by "tarab," the Arabic word for a continuous state of musical ecstasy. One of the main ideas of the piece involves an undying, repetitive pulse from the piano that sets up an uninterrupted framework for the passage of roving scalar runs that dance all over the piano. In an abstract sense, that music is akin to the monolithic presence of the vast Arabian deserts as a backdrop for the hundreds of thousands of nomads that have traversed their ancient sands.
2 loudspeakers, 2 high-quality microphones, Audio Interface, Headphones (or Earphones), and Computer running MAX 7 or higher (free download available here) -- for questions regarding setup, please contact us.
Dzovig Markarian (piano) premieres Shifting Sands at Cal State University, Fullerton.