Coming from Croatia where different cultures have been blending for centuries, I wanted to combine these two songs that are also a mixture of old and new, traditional and original. Both compositions are written in a Chakavian dialect that is typical for Kvarner Gulf, the northern Adriatic coast where I am from. Anica Se Matere Molila is a traditional folk song of Cres island origin in the Istrian scale idiom that I've arranged for voice and live electronics.
In Kamo Je Fin Ov Dan, which is a jazz waltz written upon a song of Nikola Kraljic, a poet from Krk island, I wanted to merge representative jazz progressions and feel with Istrian scale embellishments and a specific dialect spoken in the region I come from. The songs are connected with the unison that is the typical beginning and ending of two-part singing in the Istrian scale that has been inscribed on UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2009.
Črjeni krovi na kućah
I beli zidi po kućah
nebo se žari v modrom
Do zvezd svitlećih neb
Kamo će finit ov dan
Kamo će finit ov dan
Judi delaju, judi šeću
I peno je srićnih ruk na sercih
I peno je brižnih muk na sercih
I zore gredu mej kanton ftić
Lantina i plač i smih
v greduću svitlost pasanog vrimena
kamo će finit ov dan
Red roofs on the houses
And white walls round the houses
The sky burns in the blue
To the stars shinning in the skies
Where will this day end?
Where will this day end?
People work ,people stroll
And there are many happy hands upon hearts
And many sad pains inside hearts.
The day goes
The night comes
And dawns come with birds' singing
Lantina(a big stick for fishing nets),
a cry, and a laughter
Go with light of passed time
Where will the day end?
Koj sprevari do devet divojak,
I tebe će Anicu desetu,
Who has fooled nine lasses by then
And you, Anica, will be the tenth
Wang Xiang Ci is a very moving song describing a man living in exile outside his country for a long time. Day and night he yearns to return home. Not only are the lyrics beautiful and sad, but the melody, too, expresses great sorrow and homesickness.
The Shannon Suite was originally written for Irish guitarist John Feeley. Each of the the three movements represents an Irish lake: Lough Allen, Lough Ree, and Lough Derg found along the course of the river Shannon, Ireland's longest river. In Lough Allen, one can clearly hear the influence of traditional Irish music, particularly in the middle section and through Farrell's extensive use of rhythmically strummed open chords.
Palpable Illusion is a piece inspired by the beautiful landscape of Chalkidiki, a region in northern Greece. The image of the golden rays of the sun hitting the crystal waters of Porto Koufò bay - a bay surrounded by magical forest-covered hills - triggered my imagination and transferred me into a deep subconscious state where reality and fantasy became interchangeable. The different movements of the piece describe the different states of mind I went through during that experience. There are many Greek folk music elements that dominate this composition, the most evident being the dance rhythm Baidouska, the basis of the third movement.
Kozaburo Y. Hirai
This piece is originally a folk song about sakura in Japan. Sakura means cherry blossom. Japanese people love this flower, because the blossoming of the sakura means the beginning of spring.
Mochtar Embut was born in Makasar in 1934 and died in Bandung in 1973. He was an Indonesian composer known for his composition With deepest love for Jakarta. In song, the narrator reflects on how his heart is as senesitive as the dew on the leaves. Embut set the word painting of droplets of morning dew to legato eigth and sixteenth notes in the right hand and dotted quarter chords in the left hand to create a sense of delicacy. He uses broken chords to portray the flowing tears in the second stanza.
Aku bimbang tinggal terlena
Terkenang selalu ‘kan air mata
Ia jatuh karena sengsara
tak tahan lama ‘nderita jiwa
Tidak aku kan mengusik
Karena aku dah tahu
Air mata pun titik
Kalau hatiku telah terganggu
I am in dilema, am left carried away
It portrays / recalls my flowing tears.
It drops because it suffers
My soul can't bear the pain.
I will not try to touch it
Because I know
My tears will flow
When my heart is disturbed.
Bamboo is a natural composite material used notably in Indonesian architecture. The interpretation of this is song is that the poet found his true love and peace in this bamboo house. He hopes that his sincere love is requited and lasts lasts forever.
Pandanglah aku, pandanglah aku
Aku bicara dengan jiwaku
Dan taruh hati padamu
Disini aku temukan hati
Terasa tiada sendiri
Look at me, look at me
I am speaking with my soul
And give my heart to you
I’ve found my heart here
I am no longer feeling lonely
Ignace Joseph Pleyel
Ignace Pleyel was an Austrian-born French composer and piano builder of the Classical period. A favorite student and friend of Joseph Haydn, Pleyel was a highly successful musician in his time. He composed symphonies, operas, liturgical music and many pieces for small ensembles. Duos like the one we hear tonight are notable for showcasing both instruments equally.
Pleyel established a piano-building firm, Pleyel et Cie, which supplied pianos for Frederic Chopin, among others, and ran the Salle Pleyel, a concert hall in Paris. Pleyel’s son Camille, a piano virtuoso, became his business partner and successor at the firm.
Eugen Suchon was one of the most important Slovak composers of the 20th century. His Balladic Suite is a large work consisting of four movements. Like his other works from this period, the Allegro molto combines folk music elements with chromaticism. This work was later also arranged for orchestra.
What is Israeli music? How is it different from Jewish music? Does it have to be in Hebrew? Does it have to be written by an Israeli composer? What is its relation to the music of the East, or to Western music? What gives music a nationality anyway?
This piece composed especially for tonight’s concert is personal take on this subject. If it is our duty as artists to ask and investigate who we are and where we come from, for me, the journey has become extremely interesting since living outside of Israel. Throughout the piece, different themes are presented, illustrating different influences in the country's history. As the music progresses, these elements are contrasted against each other more and more until they finally melt together and co-exist in a unified texture. The clarinet, extensively featured along the way, is the perfect choice for the role, equally associated with Western classical, Jewish Klezmer, Gipsy and Ottoman Turkish music and Jazz.
Dedicated to Albert Elharar (Morocco) and Yehuda Mintus (Poland)