Kitab al-musiqi (1989)
picc, ob, cl, bsn, 2 hn, 2 tpt, tbn, tba, pno, 2 perc, 2 vln, 2 vla, 2 vcl, db
duration: 25 minutes
Commissioned by St David’s Hall, Cardiff with funds provided by the Welsh Arts Council
First performed by the New Arts Consort at St David’s Hall, Cardiff on 4 March 1989
with Barry Kelvin-Hall (piccolo), Michelle Bosley (oboe), Julian Holmes (clarinet), Liz Nicholson (bassoon), Gareth Williams (horn), David Williams (horn), Gareth Rees (trumpet), Ted John (trumpet), Ian Torr (trombone), Louise Hanslow (tuba), Gareth Davies (piano), Philip Girling (percussion), Kevin Earley (percussion), Luke Roskans (violin), Mary Shannon (violin), Sian Jenkins (viola), Sharon McKinley (cello), Kate Morgan (cello), Geraint Williams (double bass)
The title, meaning ‘the Book of Music’, is taken from a musical treatise written by Al-Farabi in the 10th century. Six different rhythms listed in Al-Farabi’s book form the basis for the rhythms in the work, whilst the melodic material reworks certain north-west African vocal and instrumental techniques.