Tasveer marks a very special point for me as a composer. During the 2011-2012 year, I was living in India on a Fulbright grant, studying Hindustani classical music. My days there were filled with music, between Hindustani vocal lessons, attending concerts, constantly meeting new musicians and playing with them. I was so busy taking in everything around me that I barely composed anything for an entire year.
Tasveer was the first piece I wrote after returning from India. It is in this piece that I began to confront the dramatic shifts that had taken place in my musical perception over that very formative year, and began to scratch the surface of the ideas and concepts that now form the backbone of the music I write.
The concept of this piece is simple: a trill is passed back and forth between instruments, expanding and condensing, pulling and pushing time, and becoming densely melodically ornamented while retaining it’s harmonic transparency. Hindustani ornamentation is so beautiful and ephemeral, and this was one of my first attempts to capture these little wisps of sound on the page.
See video recording above.
This piece was commissioned by Copland House’s CULTIVATE program. It was premiered on August 14, 2012 in Merestead, NY by Harumi Rhodes, violin; Derek Bermel, clarinet; Alexis Pia Gerlach, cello; and Michael Boriskin, piano.
Here is a video from 2012, speaking about Tasveer’s premiere, and working with the musicians from Copland House: