Beyond Solitude (Modified)  

Music Title:
Beyond Solitude

Leonard Nimoy Thalia

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Program Notes

April 5, 2016

8:00 PM

  • Composer: Gregory H. Aslani
  • Persian Classical Arrangements: Homayoon Beigi    
  • Style: Fusion of Comtemporary Music and Persian Classical Music
  • Performers:
    Contemporary Style Musicians:
    Noavaran Ensemble:
  • Persian Classical Modes: Avaz-e Dashti, Dastgah-e Shur, and Dastgah-e Chahargah
  • Program Notes:

    The second version of Beyond Solitude is an evolution of the original version which was written and performed in early 2010, with a later rendition of different version, Beyond Solitude II, peroformed in May of 2011. In this latest version, the composer, Gregory H. Aslani, has added much more harmony and a far smoother fusion of contemporary (tonal/atonal) sounds with a specific style of microtonal Persian Classical Music. The performance draws upon from two groups of musicians: Western Contemporary and Persian Classical, who begin a two way communication. Compared to the first version, Beyond Solitude II portrayed a much closer collaboration and polyphony between the two elements of the fusion. The current version is a modified version of Beyond Solitude II with yet more polyphonic interaction between the two groups.

    The first movement of the piece, although written in contemporary spirit, has been immensely influenced by Persian classical melodies. It symbolizes the onset of a dialogue in the contemporary musical language with a Persian inclination to speak to the Persian Quartet. In response, the Quartet will debut its 24-division well-tempered interpretation of the Deilaman Gousheh of the Persian Classical Avaz of Dashti. This is followed by a dialogue back and forth in the two dialects inspired to communicate with slight variations in style. The contemporary musicians take note from the rhythmic piece portrayed by their Persian counterpart, in the mother Dastgah of Shur to transit, in form, into tonality, which is in turn more compatible with the Dastgah of Chahargah. At this point, when Persian music responds with its interpretation of the opening of Chahargah (Daramad), in the contemporary style an expression is conveyed with its gained insight of the dialogue, only to cut short at times to listen and gain more insight.

    By the end of the piece, the comfort level increases to a level of confidence that there is no hindrance in speaking each side's dialect. In fact the conclusion proves that the two styles, with a slight flexibility, can coexist in harmony and provide a positive level of dialogue without having to set aside their respective originalities.

  • Synopsis (by Davood Rahni):

    Inspired by his life-long integration of Eastern and Western cultural experiences, Greg Aslani has composed this musical piece as played through the dialogue of the two groups of performers. Persian sound (Iranian traditional microtonal scale) and Western contemporary sound are synergistically intertwined to create a peaceful ambiance of Persian music and the message of peace.

    During the first interlude, about four minutes in duration, the flute, the harp, and the guitar create a bridge between the East and the West. Persian music is then progressively played by Tar, Tombak, Daf, percussion and vocal performance of the Noavaran Ensemble ( in conjunction with the recital of a poem by Davood Rahni. The latter performance is interspersed with flute, harp, and guitar. The finale is a true convergence of both ensembles. Noavaran Ensemble