ارتفاعات “Heights” (2022) – orchestra and electric windchime installation (8′)
ارتفاعات (Ertefā-āt) is an Arabic word we use in Persian which means “Heights” or “Peaks” or “Altitudes.” In this work, I was inspired by the stunning colors and natural construction of the salt domes that lie within the Zagros Mountain range in Western Iran: these salt domes look as if they are hand-painted and sculpted because of their wide palate and intricate form. Using these mounds as a springboard, I became interested in high sounds and spaces, tall sounds and spaces, “thin” textures, and colorful textures. These interests eventually led me to wanting to more deeply explore different high and thin windchime sounds associated with wind and high places, in conjunction the orchestra. I happened upon some electric windchimes which play intermittently through small fans built into them, and I knew I’d found the texture I wanted, coupled with the wonderful sea-glass windchimes I’ve always loved. The intermittent windchimes become a ritualistic space, which frame the work and add a continuing cascade of thin, sparkling sound that ebbs and flows throughout. Punctuating these chimes are a series of high viola solos—another thin sound—and muted string glisses which likewise shift mazily in and out of the work’s different peaks. Colorful, thin, tall, high, and intermittent, sounds, spaces, and places.