Saed Haddad


I will compose a piece for violin & cimbalom. The piece will be ca. 10 minute long. This piece will explore questions regarding my Arab-European double Identity. How one’s past/ origin influences one’s creation nowadays; and how one’s present filters the memories of the past. That said, issues regarding memory and oblivion and the ways they can influence the audience’s perception will have a major role in shaping the musical discourse of this piece. This piece will express the way I perceive my own identity as an ’other’, i.e. a cultural insider/outsider to the Arabic and to the Western cultures. This attitude of the ’otherness’/ ’strangerness’ implies using certain outsider/ dissonant musical elements; however which gradually melt in within the larger context thus becoming an enriching coherent component within the musical fabric of the piece. Such musical thinking could reflect an ethical dimension as well, namely, the possibility of interaction and harmony between different cultures and people even when they may appear incompatible with each other. I.e. how an outsider to a certain culture could positively contribute to its enrichment and become thus a harmonious part of it. The choice of the two instruments, namely violin and cimbalom, is apt to underpin the aforementioned values of shared history and harmony between the Arabic and the European cultures. The violin has developed from the rabab and shall allow me to use the microtonal Arabic maqamat. The cimbalom has similar roots in the East (stemming from the Iraqi and Persian santur).