Homage, Laments and Ecstasies
by Karlin Greenstreet Love (2017)
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Homage, Laments and Ecstasies, originally for saxophone and string orchestra, is a 3-movement meditation on the richness of Arabic and Middle Eastern music, history, present-day cultural vitality and the devastation of modern warfare. Inspired by music from Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey and Pakistan, the first movement, Ud, pays homage to the rich culture of the 'Fertile Crescent' and laments the destruction of the past: ancient sites, artefacts and traditions. The second movement, Walk softly on this soil, is a lament for the destruction of the present. The title is from a song sung by Iraqi women on the way to the execution chamber under Saddam Hussein.The subtitle D.U. refers to depleted uranium used in US cluster bombs resulting in radioactive poisoned water, cancers and horrific birth defects. In calling the third movement Tarab - a culturally rich and untranslatable term, I pay homage to its associations with joy and sadness, intense emotional connections between musicians and listeners, and ecstatic and transcendent states. It evokes hope and assurance that there is more than this present local suffering. This movement is influenced by Pakistani Qawwali music, Italian tarantellas, Celtic rock, and Sufi dervishes.
Duration: 25 min.
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