The Finding


Instrumentation:
 Soprano and Piano
Duration:                  5.5 minutes

Complete Performance:

 

Program Notes:

    Written for the 2014 Artsong Lab in Vancouver, The Finding is an Art song for soprano and piano based on the evocative poem of the same name, by Vancouver poet Meharoona Ghani. I set the text in a five part form, similar to the form of the poem. Each section is different rhythmically, as I attempted to portray the contrast between the meditative and the active, the act of soul searching and dancing.


Dance, when you’re broken open.
Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance, when you’re perfectly free. – Rumi

Wajd.

Eyes closed.
Skirt – white – wide
unraveled ego’s shourd,
tugged sleeves.
Walk –
suluk.

Pieces of me
pressed in seams,
body’s blood rolled,
arms crisscrossed chest.
Turn, turn, turn –
sema.

Santur’s sound
pulled right hand
to heaven,
left hand to earth –
wojood.

Evening song, revolved trance,
untangled memory,
formed harmony,
Breath –
nafas.

Dervish returns
to open fields,
space in between,
broken mirrors,
freedom found,
in all directions –
wajd.


Meaning of Persian words
Nafas – “Breath”
Santur – (also santour, santoor) is an Iranian hammered dulcimer, consisting of a trapezoidal box of horizontal strings, played with small mallets known as mezrab. The Iranian classical santur has 72 strings of brass or copper and steel, 18 sets of four tuned in unison, with two or three rows of bridges providing a range of some three octaves.
Sema – sama (or sema in Turkish) means “listening” which is a Sufi ceremony.
Suluk – means “pathway” and in the Sufi context referes to a spiritual path.
Wojood – “existence”
Wajd – “Finding”, but for Sufis it also means a moment of ecstacy in which one experience an unveiling -and hence a “finding” – of some aspect of God’s reality.

 Performance History:

  • June 13th, 2014, Phoebe MacRae and Margaret Witvoet @ VISI Final Concert, Orpheum Annex, Vancouver BC.

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