After a long gap of inspiration, ideas for this score started flowing the minute I decided to stop practicing the music of the old masters, as it dawned on me that one cannot serve two masters at the same time. This insight felt like a major victory – an internal, silent victory, which, paradoxically, is expressed through music.
The Eagle’s Song
Written for Luxembourgish pianist Romain Nosbaum, this bravura piece is drawing on Albanian colours and rhythms, and imitates the sound of a typically Albanian instrument, the two-stringed qifteli. Just like the very temperamental Albanian music, it goes from the peaks of liveliness and passion to the depth of sadness and sorrow – and back.
choir SATB and piano
Written for the 40th anniversary of Les amis du chant, one of Luxembourg’s leading choirs, the ‘Canto’ puts to music a litany penned specially for this occasion by eminent Luxembourgish author and poet Guy Rewenig. Conceived as a secular requiem, the text takes no less than five languages to list the innumerable injustices afflicting our world. The music follows suit, clothing this stark recital in gravitas and awe, but also adding tenderness to the sadness, as well as unexpected moments of luminous hope.
Create in Me a Pure Heart
soprano and piano
Written for amazing young singing talent Pardis Ajala from the UK, this song uses a beautiful prayer revealed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1844-1921). Initially slow and reverent, the music builds up to ecstatic levels, taking advantage of Pardis’ incredible singing range.
The Effulgence of Thy Face
soprano and piano
This song is part of the incidental music to ‘Táhirih, a Mirror of the Dawn’, a dramatic presentation about the life of Fatimah Baraghani (1814 or 1817 to 1852), known among other titles as Táhirih (the Pure), a Persian poetess and early champion of women’s rights who was strangled for her convictions by order of the government. The lyrics are taken from one of her poems.
O God, My God
Composed for the 2017 edition of the Sydney Sacred Music Festival, this choir piece is using a simple yet stirring prayer by the Báb (1819-1850), consisting of a single verse. The music is my most earnest attempt to express the soul’s innermost longing to connect to its Creator.
Vallëzimi me erën – ‘The Dance with the Wind’
Commissioned by the German chamber choir PortaVoci, this score uses a poem by Petrit Beqiri (*1972) describing the abandon and ecstasy of dancing. The original Albanian text is full of vivid colours. In order to capture at least some of this magic I kept the first verse in the original language and set it to a very typically Balkans 7/8 rhythm.
A Rodent’s Dream
This is my musical take on the short animation movie ‘Happiness’ by Steve Cutts. The movie follows a rodent, as if it were a person, that is stuck like in a Hamster wheel in the drudgery and emptiness of modern life. Both deep and funny, it will make you smile and cry at the same time.