Four Glimpses of Desire (2016) (چهار نگاه اجمالی از هوس) – for high voice and piano (17′)
I. (دلبره) Delbaré (5’)
II. (مژده به بلبل دهید) Mosjdeh beh bolbol dehīd (5’)
III. (بيک نگاه مرحمت) Beh yek negāh-i-marhamat (2’)
IV. (خواهٔم که بر ذلفت) Khāham keh bar zolfat (5’)
-With traditional texts in Farsi, this set of four Persian songs reflects on love, desire, and longing, with The Belovéd at the center of it all. This Sufi ideal of the close and extremely intimate relationship between The Lover and The Belovéd is displayed directly in these four songs. There is a constant longing for oneness and unification with The Belovéd which The Lover has been separated from, a concept and core ideal of Islam that is especially important in Sufism. The longing for intimate closeness with that which seems unobtainable is essential in these four texts, and a wealth of Sufi poetry. This desire is all encompassing: passionate, physical, spiritual, sexual, emotional, and mystical. An excerpt from ancient Sufi poet and mystic Farid ud Din Attar exemplifies this belief:
In Love no longer ‘thou’ and ‘I’ exist,
For Self has passed away in the Beloved.
Two Reflections on The Belovèd (2016) – soprano and percussion quartet (8′)*
*commissioned by the ICon Arts Festival in 2016 as Composer-In-Residence.
-This set of two songs for soprano and percussion quartet are settings of two Sufi texts. These two texts each reflect on “The Belovéd:” a Sufi ideal and extreme desire for close intimacy and oneness with god; however, this line is often blurred, and “The Belovéd” takes on different forms (especially in prose and poetry). For some, this becomes a person with whom they desire intimacy (platonic or sexual), a partner, or friend, for others, a goal, accomplishment, or object of some sort. Whatever form “The Belovéd” takes, this desire for intimacy is always present and encompassing. In both songs the soprano and percussionists play equal roles, blending timbres and colors of various shades to create a reflection on this Sufi tenant which explores the nature of intimacy, desire, and mystic love.