Composer Anahita Abbasi writes about ...within the shifting grounds... for ICE and orchestra, which was premiered last weekend with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and Christian Reif, conductor, at Davies Symphony Hall. Listen to some of Anahita's other works here!
Creating to me is a state of mind which needs a genuine, special, focused “care." It is expressing feelings and thoughts, the possibility of many relationships, the floating of energy and nature. In my opinion, there are no borders nor limitations, and no good or bad within the creative processes, because we are the ones who are defining these borders, defining how they are happening and why they are happening at this particular moment. To me, in order to create anything, any substance matters, such as the way musicians perform, their scheme and disposition in the space, their personal/professional habits and how they express themselves, including how they move on stage. These all add more layers and influence the way I as a “listener” perceive any musical moment. Of course the selection of instruments, their qualities and any decision making step such as form, harmony, notation, etc. (“the ingredients, and the recipe”) counts also. An “interesting” gesture/Klangfarbe/“sound” is only intriguing in a specific situation/context/environment. Then we will truly perceive its qualities and appreciate them.
There are no 100% certain ways for anything in the world; In my creative processes, I embrace every detail; I taste them, touch them, and feel them, and I let myself be touched by the beauty and the power of inspiration … Only then I can decide how I would want these to exist.
We are currently living in a world which is constantly changing. The variety, quantity and quality of inspirations are basically infinite. What is essential to me and my creative world is to observe, examine and perceive anything; to let sensation and the imagination float and flow; and at the same time keep the mind and brain alert, awake and active. I do believe that these all would lead me to create and determine all the decision-making specifics selectively in the honor of the work and its true nature.
About this piece:
I am interested in creating textures and multi-layered structures. The combination of these moving, transforming, blunt and at the same time passive layers creates a “momentum” in which there are many pathways which unfold individually within time. In this particular piece, I was additionally aiming to create a “listening experience” of sound movements, perception of sound movements, and how the time passes.
(I do like to play with the audience’s perception and take them with me on a journey of thoughts and feelings…)
And about working with ICE:
It was a great, beautiful and very joyful experience. I believe ICE (I mean every performer involved) understood all the above mentioned details about how I think, see and perceive and also how I search and care for each sound. This is the most important thing in my music. ICE's professionalism including their openness and their positive attitude and enthusiasm brought a lot in the process of bringing this piece to life. The Youth Orchestra was very talented; they have never been engaged with this aspect of music, all these “zoomed sounds” and “techniques” were completely new to them. The mutual trust and understanding that ICE, conductor Christian Reif and I shared helped us to open this new horizon to these young musicians, and let them perceive how to search and create sounds and sound-structures within my piece.