Shifting Sands (2016) - ca. 8'
trumpet and electronics
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 trumpet that sets up an uninterrupted framework for the passage of roving scalar runs that dance through the soundscape. 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.
Premiered March 24–26, 2016: Theo Van Dyck (trumpet) and Saad Haddad (laptop) at the Wilson Theater in New York, NY
Other performances: Aaron Plourde (2017), Ollie Haines (2017), Alan Wenger (2017), Theo Van Dyck (2018)
Saad Haddad (sound engineer) and Theo Van Dyck (trumpet) at the Juilliard School in New York