Night Along the Top, with Mr. Abdel Wahab
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Night Along the Top, with Mr. Abdel Wahab

For string orchestra (at least 4, 4, 3, 2, 1)

Duration: 10′

Premiere:

  • 13 November 2009, National Bank hall, Belgrade. St. George strings, Bojan Suđić (cond.)

The piece is based on two short fragments of a song written and performed by the Egyptian singer, composer, and Oud player Mohammed Abdel Wahab, who was one of the greatest figures of the Arab music world in the 20th century. The score explores this basic material, and the music is derived from my own private experience of listening to the original song – “exotic” music sung in an unfamiliar language – with my “foreign” ears.

An earlier version of this piece, for strings and two horns was performed by ensemble Royal, at the conservatory at the Hague during the spring festival, 2008.