Shubho Lhaw Qolo for Viola Sola and Orchestra (2019) – 8′
Second prize, Vienna Academia Musica – 2021 International Music Competition, Orchestra Category
Winner, Sewanee Summer Music Festival – 2020 Call for Scores
Winner, Warren County Summer Music School – 2020 Promising Young Composers Competition
Second prize, Ohio Federation of Music Clubs – 2020 Collegiate Composition Contest
Premiered November 2019 with Alyssa Warcup as the soloist under the baton of the composer at Mixon Hall in the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Shubho Lhaw Qolo means “glory to the voice” in Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus Christ. The music is inspired by an adapted text of St. Ephrem the Syriac who lived in the fourth century. Modern settings of the text are commonly sung by Christian communities in both Aramaic and Arabic around Christmas season throughout the Middle-East.
One of the great mysteries and powers of music is that it can leave us feeling that musical time transcends clock time. Shubho Lhaw Qolo explores notions of timelessness as well as concurrent temporalities and directionalities. The notation reflects the superimposed, independent temporalities which operate at once in the music, thus barlines are not always shared by all instruments. The music moves from metered to unmetered in an organic manner so as not to be audible. The different time-layers integrate and interact with one another throughout the music, just as the different playing techniques do. Throughout the piece, different sounds come in and out of focus; textures, like colors, bleed into each other. The soloist and the orchestra operate on different and independent sonic universes at the beginning, however, as the piece progresses, they approach integration right up to the final cadence where they finally commune. The conclusion of the piece comes with my own re-harmonization of the classic “Amen”.