Syriac Fugato draws inspiration from Eugene O’Brien‘s Black Fugatos. What captures my imagination in O’Brien’s work is the seemingly independent time-layers of the various instruments in the ensemble – this sort of beautiful, organized chaos fascinates me. In Syriac Fugato, I employ a totally different technique to that of O’Brien’s controlled aleatory to achieve a comparable effect, all while crafting the work in my own aesthetic.
Syriac Fugato was composed as part of the Bowdoin International Music Festival “Guinea Pigs in Bow Ties” event, in which composers draw performer names and instruments from a hat yielding the instrumentation for a brand new piece of music. As per the event’s rules, Syriac Fugato was written, rehearsed, and performed, all within 48 hours by the musicians drawn from the hat.