Prayer : for bassoon and piano
by Nirmali Fenn (2022)
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When I started this piece, Afghanis were fleeing their war ravaged country and, now in fininshing it, war encroaches our concept of existence, with Ukrainians fleeing their homes. Thus, I daily thought what is prayer for? No matter what religion you are, I understand prayer to be about seeking unity - a statement as a resistance to conflict.
This piece Prayer is divided such that prayer acts as a funnel for interaction with one's body, soul and spirit. This path of interaction in this pieces occurs thus: 1) Stravinsky's Mass is quoted by the piano as a metaphor of the body, with the bassoon counteracting this statement to lift us to dwell on the spirit; 2) in quoting Ravel's The Valley of the Bells, a bell sound represents a moment wherein the spirit is sought through sound, i.e. transformation of body-to-soul; 3) the bassoon's solo declaims the embodiment of the spirit. The final stage is that of transcendence of either/or - spirit and soul. I seek the body of the piano to be an accompaniment to the relationship in which the bassoon considers interactions that existed from the beginning of Prayer.
Prayer only conveys the sense that we as humanity equally belong to a much larger scheme without the need for war - petty conflicts that overturn our existence.
Instrumentation: Bassoon, piano.
Duration: 10 min.
Dedication note: Dedicated to Frank Morelli
Commission note: Commissioned by New Music USA.
- Inspired by: Anti-War
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