for String Quartet Duration ca. 12 minutes
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SYRIAN FOLK SONGS – Book 1
I. Oh, the tawny beauty
II. As she leaves her father’s home
طالعة من بيت أبوها
III. Blessed are your wedding garments
IV. Under my parents’ watchful eyes
The Syrian Folk Songs project is a long-term effort to re-imagine rural and urban folk music from historical ‘Greater Syria’ for the medium of the string quartet. The primary aim is to highlight the beauty and variety of the folk music found in the region at different periods in time. To do so is to recognize that national borders are problematic because they are artificial constructs, manipulated by politicians and soldiers. Despite this, culture travels permeates them. By seeking out the beauty of folk music, made people of many varied religions, and different cultures, we can put a human face on what is often simplistically portrayed, and misunderstood as a monolithic population.
The ultimate goal of the Syrian Folk Songs project is complete about sixteen movements that will eventually be published in volume. My goal is to compose variety of difficulty levels for the movements, and label them as such, so that both students and professional levels can perform them. Once the full set is published, I will encourage each performer to choose any group of the movements and to change the order of each movement as they see fit. For the time being, I will publish them in a series of four movements per ‘book’.