Hāl – Homāyūn (2016) for tuba/euphonium (10′)
Hāl is described by the great Persian music master Dr. Daryush Safvat:
“In traditional Iranian music, the manner of playing is much more important than what one plays. And the manner of playing is conditioned by Hāl. How to translate this word which escapes definition? Hāl is an intense state of the soul, it is the interior fire which must animate the artist like the mystic. . .When he attains the high point of this state, the artist plays with an extraordinary facility of execution. His sound changes. The musical phrase liberates its secret. The creativity gushes forth. It seems that the very essence of the music manifests itself delivered from the usual interferences of the human personality. The world becomes transfigured, unveiling its marvelous visages, and across an ineffable transparency which abolishes the actual barriers between the musician and his auditor, offers itself to the direct comprehension of every being capable of sensing. Hāl is the fruit of authenticity. The authentic musician is he who plays or sings under the force of an irresistible interior impulse.”
Homāyūn is one of the principle twelve Persian dastgāhs (melodic modes). Persian dastgāhs have many extra-musical connotations. Homāyūn is stately, dignified, mobile, ecstatic, and at times joyous, while in others melancholic. Its time is evening, from sunset till dark. Its color is dark green, and its element is flame. Homāyūn creates a royal atmosphere and expresses the complaints and crying of love, ending in sorrow, as well as the greatness of love in its higher form. While other modes portray one’s own feelings of love, Homāyūn can express others’ feelings of love. The description of The Beloved reaches the divine in Homāyūn, making this mode one of the most passionate and intense of the twelve.[i]
[i] From Music and Song in Persia by Lloyd Clifton Miller.