Burning with ecstatic harmony

Organ

Burning with ecstatic harmony…( Dar eltehab-é jazbe-yé yeganegy ) portrays a deep desire for cultures to forge a connection which leads to a sense of harmony or unity. The work incorporates musical themes from Western and Middle Eastern cultures.

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Program Note

Burning with ecstatic harmony…( Dar eltehab-é jazbe-yé yeganegy ) was written for Joseph Adam, Cathedral Organist of St. James Cathedral. The title, in Persian and English, references the central theme of the work – a deep desire for two very different cultures to meet and begin the arduous process of understanding one another, forging a connection which leads in some small way to a sense of harmony or unity. The work incorporates two musical themes from Western and Middle Eastern cultures. From the West is the plainchant melody “Pange lingua gloriosa” (“Sing, my tongue, of the mystery of the glorious Body”) by St. Thomas Aquinas. From the Middle East is the Iranian sacred song “Allah Madad” (“God helps you”) which speaks of the 15th-century Persian mystic and prophet Ahmad-e Jami. The two musical themes are initially separate events, but by the end of the work they have transformed and combined into one brief musical gesture.

I am indebted to the celebrated Iranian poet, Azar Khajavi, who generously created the Persian title for this work.

Dar eltehab-é jazbe-yé yeganegy   …burning with ecstatic harmony… is dedicated to organist Joseph Adam, and to the Very Reverend Michael G. Ryan, Pastor of St. James Cathedral, in recognition of his commitment to inter-religious relations.

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