May 1993 California Symphony Orchestra
Berry Jakowsky, conductor
Walnut Creek, CA
1021 2110 pi hrp strings
Domes is commissioned by California Symphony Orchestra as part of my Young American Composer in Residence tenure with the orchestra. The initial gut feeling for Domes started to emerge after being on a rooftop in Rome, where I lived for a year, and looking at the domes around me. Consequently, this made me think of Istanbul, Turkey, where I grew up and where I always felt mesmerized by the magnificent views of the domes there. Of course, these domes in Rome and Istanbul are part of the churches and mosques that are probably the greatest creations of the Christian and Muslim worlds. What was interesting, though, was that I was not hearing church bells or sermons in association with these domes-I was hearing a peculiar, peaceful silence. The music came out of this peculiar silence. I was feeling a little religious, in a general way, and mysterious. At times while writing the music for Domes, I felt as if a hand was helping me from above. I also felt I had to be in a certain type of mood when I was writing, and if I was not in that mood, I did not write. Frequently I had to wait a couple of days. I am bilingual, having lived half my life in a predominantly Christian world, and the other half in a predominantly Muslim world. Domes is very slow and washes the listener in string sounds with other instruments providing a touch of accompaniment. An organically interrelated nocturne of dipping suspension-bridge design, the mood throughout is of spiritual obsessiveness, ever-descending lines searching for something, trying to feel what they are searching for, to seek out what they are feeling, rather like whirling Sufi dervishes.