The world premiere of a new composition by Dutch-American composer Hanneke van Proosdij. 4K video from our Musical Crossroads program, January, 2019. This work won two first place prizes in the SFCV Best of the Bay 2019 Awards for Best New Music Performance and Best Chamber Music Performance. The Musical Crossroads project was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowments for the Arts.
A number of questions and comments ask about or describe the traditions of each part of the composition. As this is a cross-cultural collaboration, we will invite each musician as well the composer to talk about the traditions that they brought to the performance and post them here. Each of the musicians improvises in their own style and they are the best source for what they played. Check back for updates! Also, there were a number of comments that contained multiple *external links*, these were automatically flagged by YouTube….
From the composer “What interested me to compose Musical Crossroads was the thought that music brings us all together. For this work, I selected an unusual combination of instruments which is a new sound color experience for me as a composer: kamancha, frame drum, riq, recorder, harp, baroque violins, archlute and viola da gamba. In my compositions, I usually compose atonal music, but for this project I chose to use the (edit to add: medieval) Armenian church mode Yergrord dzayn dardzvadsk; this scale is not unique, it is also used in both Azerbaijan and Iran. In the improvisations you will hear a confluence of many different styles: Azerbaijan, North Africa, Bulgaria, Scotland, Quebec and the Early Music movement.
The mode of this scale provides a framework for the composition and has a reflective character.
Most of the music is through-composed, leavened with opportunities for improvisation, so each performance will be different. In addition, the improvisation features the creative and musical contributions of these wonderful musicians.”
We welcome your comments, for those interested in the scale used throughout the composition, here is the first page of the kamancha part. Imamyar’s improvised solo begins at measure 46.
—Hanneke van Proosdij
Voices of Music
Hanneke van Proosdij and David Tayler, directors
Imamyar Hasanov, kamancha
Peter Maund, frame drum & riq
Hanneke van Proosdij, recorder
Alana Youssefian, baroque violin
Laura Risk, baroque violin
William Skeen, viola da gamba
Cheryl Ann Fulton, harp
David Tayler, archlute