In silent grey I see her face; where are the words we used to say? Heartbroken rain falling, yet never doubt that you are loved. The one coming close day by day.
Despondency descends to me; my heart starts crying endlessly: "Enlighten me! Save me!" Fly far beyond and reach the light; embrace bravely your gaiety.
This chorale, for which I wrote the music and text, is my tribute to one of my favourite masters, J.S. Bach. Imitating such elements as rhythm and voice leading in Bach chorales, my chorale consists of contemporary tonal harmony with the number of voices expanded to five. The combination of this ancient form with new materials explores the possible musical outcome in a parallel universe where Bach lived today with access to contemporary tonal techniques. The piece depicts my emotions and mindset along my journey of exploring my identity, overcoming challenges and pursuing my dream in my four years of undergraduate studies.
for two flutes / 2014
"Torn" for Two Flutes showcases the thorough use of intervals. The work opens with a cry of the "torn" motif, which haunts the entire structure in shredded or disguised forms. The horrifying process of the protagonist being torn apart in the heart and mind may be traced in three sections. The opening is led by the "torn motif", featuring intervals of sharp dissonance as frustration and pain. In the middle section, the music enters a state of mind full of fear, doubts, and helplessness, captured by the highlight of the tritone in soft dynamics. The mind collapses in the final section of ultimate suffering, losing sanity, before finally reaching the only emphasized perfect octave at the end. That pure interval is the pitiful conclusion of the protagonist that he is trapped in his trouble, doomed to be torn apart.
Mouna Ben Hadj Tahar, flutes
World premiere recorded in Walter Hall, University of Toronto, October 28, 2014.
Copyright © Zi-Xiao He 2014