Program Notes

This even shorter piece was commissioned by the New Music Indaba, a new music festival in Grahamstown, South Africa. The idea was to ask several composers to write their response to a traditional Zulu bow song, in my case one called Nguwe l’udal’inyakanyaka, as performed by Nofinishi Dywili. Mine is a very free ‘fantasy’ that treats the original quite irreverently, as a found object. I created short repeating patterns by giving the vocal line of the song (much speeded up) to the violins, while the viola and cello got the alternating note figures of the 2-note bow accompaniment. The result is more heavy metal than delicate bow song, but Nofinishi, who was in the audience, was swaying from side to side with a broad smile on her face, which pleased me immensely!